Chapter 20: Forgotten
Twelve nations opened their eyes inside the memory. Standing in the same circle, but just inside the entrance to the mansion. “Is everyone seeing this together??” Prussia asked out of confusion. He thought all the memories were seen separately and at different times. What was this?
“It’s like the time America and I witnessed Italy’s death,” Japan commented.
“But, Even Germany’s here!” Italy exclaimed with surprise and a little joy.
“I... find it a bit strange as well. I take it, this is not normally how this works?” Germany asked.
“No, Usually when we break clocks it is a unique experience for each of us. The only exception to that would be the one time America and Japan experienced the same memory at once,” England explained. It was of no coincidence that memory came from the box he left in the basement.
The group jumped at the sound, “Ssh! Someone’s coming in! Let’s try and figure out what this memory is all about.”
England opened the door to the mansion with a heavy heart. Despite his best efforts, three of them had still been set on coming. At least he’d managed to keep Italy from coming this time. His death the last time they were here, still haunted him. In fact, if it wasn’t for that spell-book he found, they might not be standing here now. He was forever grateful for this second chance. Or perhaps third was more accurate, since with his dying breath Italy was finally able to tell them they had been here before.
A book suddenly appeared from nowhere and fell open on the ground just a few feet away. England scrambled to pick it up before the others came in behind.
France followed England in, Canada, and then Prussia coming in shortly behind. The door closed behind them with an ominous, creeaaakk! but it was the finality of the click of the door shutting, that sent shivers down England’s spine.
"It has such a desolate feel...Not bad." Prussia laughed at the challenge.
"I don't think it's very interesting though." Canada spoke quietly disagreeing with him.
France looked around, expecting to see a run down old house, not a well kept mansion, "It's cleaner than one would expect, isn't it?"
"Y-Yeah but...Um, can we go now?" England begged. They’d seen the place now, maybe if he could get them to turn around now, before anything bad happened.
"What's the matter, England? Are you scared?" France teased, taking England’s worried expression for worry over the supernatural, completely unaware there was a real danger here.
"O-Of course not, you idiot!! That's not it!! It's just that this place is sort of..." England tried to think of something believable to say. He wondered how Italy had done this last time. Well, in all honesty Italy started out telling them the truth, but at this point the truth was so unbelievable that no one would believe him. England found himself in the same shoes now. Trying to find some believable excuse to get them all out of there before anything even started.
Prussia was bored of their lovers quarrel and started walking towards the stairs. "Hey, are you going to take a look around on your own?" France asked noticing they were losing Prussia.
“I’m boorreed!” Prussia complained, “Let’s just go take a look around already.” Prussia continued to walk away.
"What? Isn't that a little risky? Hey, w-wait!!" England called after him. Their entire group following after Prussia’s lead, upstairs.
“This is-” England started, almost certain. There were a few times, but not many, they had started like this. But all were a bit different.
“What? You think you might know this one?” America asked in confusion. Other than seeing what appeared to be one of thousands of time loops, he really wasn’t sure what was going on.
“I’m certain of it,” Italy agreed biting his lip with excitement. There had never been a more important past in this mansion than this. “The book appeared from nowhere. We always wondered where it went,” Italy giggled, “I guess this explains why we didn’t find it.”
“Would you like to share with the class?” China asked begging for an explanation.
“America, Germany, do you remember when we were trapped in the past and relived the second time loop? Only we also felt England restart time?” Italy asked.
“What about it?” Germany asked.
“We spent the whole time hiding in the piano room. This is what we missed,” Italy explained.
“Shit!” America cursed. He was just getting over that whole incident. He did not want to be back here. In fact he was pretty sure he’d rather face one of the creatures one-on-one before coming back here. Especially if he wasn’t going to be able to do anything.
Time jumped forward, moving to the next event that went on in this time.
"Heeey! Is anyone here?!" Germany called out through the open door.
Japan followed him in, "They're not here. Maybe they went upstairs?"
"Sheesh, those old geezers are always going off on their own! They came here first and yet they're nowhere to be seen,” America complained. He’d been talked out of it to start with, but now everyone had suddenly seemed interested in going, even Italy who chickened out when England and the others left.
“Let’s just hurry up and find them so we can go back,” Italy pleaded, eyes darting nervously, scanning the room.
China looked around the interior admiring it, "Wow, so this is the inside."
"Well, why don't we take a little look inside after we find the others and then go back? I think we can leave before nightfall,” Russia suggested.
“What?! No! We have to leave as soon as possible. We need to find them, and get out of here!” Italy exclaimed worriedly.
“What’s wrong?” Germany asked, “You wanted to come, no one made you. If you're too scared you can just go back by yourself.”
“No!” Italy cried frantically. He wanted to avoid coming back here above all else, but the thought of leaving without them, of being alone, was more than he could bear. That’s why he begged for this second chance. So that he could get them back. He held his shaking hands to his side. What could he say to get the to leave before it was too late? He took a deep breath deciding to tell them why he was so scared of this place, “Listen. There’s a monster that lives here. If we don’t get out soon it will come after us!”
“Are you scared of the same superstitions as America now? Look there’s no monster here, it’s just an old house. Let’s go take a look around already!” China brushed Italy’s warnings off like they were nothing.
“But-” Italy was heartbroken. They, didn’t believe him?
“Come on now Italy. Shape up. It’s just a house,” Germany scolded him.
Even Germany wasn’t listening, “But... But I’m not making this up, there really is something here!
“I’m going to look upstairs now. The rest of you can come if you like,” Russia announced heading towards the stairs, followed shortly behind by China, and soon the others.
“Italy? Is this maybe just another of your nightmares? You woke up pretty scared from your nap during the meeting earlier,” Japan asked trying to comfort Italy.
No, he was sure it had all happened. There was no way he could have dreamt every detail of this place. But maybe if he hoped enough it would be true? “Yeah... I’m sure you're right Japan. It was just a nightmare. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just a house right? Haha. I got worked up over nothing,” Italy flashed a smile, trying his best to make it convincing, before following the rest of the group upstairs.
“So even though you warned us of the danger. We merely brushed you off?” Japan realized with guilt for his past actions, “I’m am very sorry Italy.”
There was a rumble of agreement, and apologizing.
“It’s ok. Really. I wasn’t any good at this at the start, I couldn’t even explain myself. The first few times I tried to stop us from coming, but after a while I came to the assumption that none of you would understand unless you saw for yourself. That’s when my priority became finding an escape, instead of merely trying to prevent this from starting,” Italy quickly changed the subject to prevent this from becoming a sob fest of needless apologizes. “I should also mention that at this point in time I had no idea this was the third time we’d been here. I was convinced it was the second. I couldn’t remember the real second time because... I had died. And it was England who reversed time then.”
“So that’s why you couldn’t remember that time in the past where you died,” America followed somewhat.
“Exactly. Because time didn’t reverse in the same manner, I lost my memories of that world,” Italy explained.
“And I received them,” Romano thought to himself solemnly. Remembering the pain of watching his brother die, and not knowing where he was or what to do. He’d been through this pain only twice, but it was enough that he never wanted to know such pain ever again.
“We’ll explain the details later. It looks like we’re about to move on to the next part of this memory,” England quieted them.
A crackling fireplace and dim lights filled the noisy room on the second floor. England paced as he addressed the room. Well this was great. He thought he had done pretty good to keep most of them away from here. But now the rest had decided to join the party. Including Italy, who he viewed as being in the most danger. He also wasn’t even sure how they could have gotten here so soon. His group had only been here for maybe an hour, and from the sound of it they left quite a while after.
This wasn’t easy. He was the only one who knew what had happened, and what to expect this time. If he made even one mistake, it could cost them everything. “Alright, so if I’m following, the six of you got here about fifteen minutes ago, right?” England asked.
“We’ve been here for maybe an hour or more now. In that time we’ve discovered a few things. Firstly, and this may come as a shock to you, but the front door is locked. We are trapped in here unless we can find some other exit,” England explained.
“What? but we just came in that way, how did it lock?!” Japan asked with shock.
“We discovered we were trapped here just a moment ago, when we were attacked,” England announced.
“Attacked?!” Italy worried, looking at each of them to assure himself they were all ok.
“You should have seen it!” Prussia exclaimed, “A hulking giant the color of a rotten scone!”
“Are you serious? This is dangerous!” China waited for this to become a joke.
“Unfortunately, when we ran for the exit, we discovered the door was locked,” France explained, “We’ll be stuck here until we can either find the key, or another way out of here.”
“You’re messing with us right now. You aren’t serious!” America begged for someone to jump out and say it was all just a joke, “This is a joke. Right? Tell me this a joke!”
“I’m afraid not. You can check the door if you want, but don’t go alone. We need to take a look around this place and see if we can find anything,” England explained.
“I’m sorry, but we were just there! I need to see this for myself,” America shook his head in denial.
“I’ll go with you then aru. I can’t accept it either. Something doesn’t feel right,” China volunteered.
“I’ll go too da?” Russia announced.
“Everyone can look around wherever they like, just come back here as soon as you can. I found the key to this room, in the library downstairs, so we can at least lock the door here,” England told them, before the group divided.
“Wait! Shouldn’t we all stick together?” Italy asked concerned.
“We’d be much too slow as a single unit. We’ll just have to come back quickly,” France explained already heading out.
“Don’t worry Italy, if you’re scared the three of us can take a look at the fourth floor together,” Japan suggested, inferring the axis would stick together.
Italy relented, “Ok then, let’s the three of us go there then.”
England headed up with the lot of them, France, Canada, and Prussia were exploring the rest of the second floor. And England, he had his own agenda. He could sense a strange presence coming from upstairs. It had just appeared moments ago, and was something that was starting to concern him. He waited until the Axis group got ahead of him before breaking off onto the third floor. It was somewhere around here.
The presence suddenly vanished.
“What the hell??” England thought to himself. He hoped there was still some sign of it lingering. The disappearance was flashy, leaving a trail. He narrowed it down to the room to his immediate right.
England opened the door to reveal another library. More curiously, he could hear voices down the way, on the other side of the room. When he looked he was shocked to discover Spain!
“Huh? What are you doing here? You weren’t at the world meeting…” England confronted him.
“…Is that you, Kirkland?” Spain asked, at the time England thought Spain was spewing nonsense.
“You’re kidding me!” Spain exclaimed remembering this exact moment. After all, he’d just lived it maybe an hour ago.
“I thought you said this was the third loop!” France queried, “Why are Spain and Romano here? And why do they know England’s human name??”
“This. Is where we ended up when we were trapped in the past,” Romano explained. The conversation between England and Spain continued while they talked.
"So the past was altered then? Isn't that bad?" China asked.
"That was the fear, but considering what happened we might take it as a blessing," some of the details were still a bit fuzzy, but England knew in some way that the events that went on here were some of the most important events
“W-we…” Spain stuttered trying to find the right words.
“…?” What the Hell was he going on about? England wondered.
“We…come from the future!!” Spain suddenly announced.
“What? I still have no idea what you’re on about,” Had he hit his head? From the looks of it Romano had.
“At the time I had no idea what you were talking about. It was utter nonsense,” England explained, “Perhaps if I had understood our situation a bit better things could have come out differently.”
Spain laughed, “It’s ok. I wasn’t very good at explaining myself, was I?”
“So this is the past in which Spain and Romano were sent back to,” America tried to follow, “It’s also the third loop, which is directly after the one where Italy had died. But if Spain and Romano interacted with this time, shouldn’t that create a paradox or something?”
“In most cases something like that could have easily occurred. It’s a bit hard to explain now, but for that reason, once I was certain they had indeed come from the future, I casted a spell to prevent us from remembering it. If we remembered to early, we might try and make changes, creating another paradox and never ending loop. Time travel is tricky business, if even one thing fell out of place here it would all fall apart at the seams,” England explained.
“Nevermind... I shouldn’t have asked,” America said holding his head.
The scene and discussion switched suddenly when they weren’t looking.
“Ssh! You guys pay attention!” China scolded them having trouble hearing over them.
“Please, there must be a way,” Italy begged.
“What about just one of us then?” Spain asked, “If you could even just get Romano bac-” Spain broke off as Romano elbowed him in the ribs, “Agh!”
“I’m not leaving you behind, bastard,” Romano growled.
“Awww~ Am I really that important to you? That makes me so happy!” Spain grinned.
Romano stepped on his foot, “It’s not that!... I just don’t want anyone falling behind this time.”
“Ahem,” England cleared his throat, “Anyways there would be no point to sending just one of you back since it wouldn’t fix either of our times. It would simply be a waste of magic.”
“Then...” Romano held out the journal to England, “Can you at least send this back? Without it, our time can’t try again, and there would be no more chances.”
“That’s-” Italy cut himself off before anyone could hear him.
England thought about it. Even an object of this size, to send it through time, to the future at that, would take an immense toll on his magic. Not diminishing it, but he had planned to use it to fix this time. He looked at their faces. Begging, hopeful. He sighed, “Oh, alright. I should have enough for that. But the two of you had better help out while you’re here.”
England summoned up the magic within him, letting it spread to his fingertips before creating a circle on the ground where he set the journal down. There was a bright flash, as England connected this journal with the time it was from, looking for clues from all the possible outcomes at this point by matching wavelengths, sending it finally back to it’s own time.
This was one of those “details” England was unclear on. It was really fascinating to finally understand it, “I see, so that explains how we found the journal then. I had been wondering how it had made it back.”
“You were pretty set on not helping us,” Spain laughed, “It took some convincing. Romano was really the one who knew what to say.”
“All I did was say a few words, I didn’t change anything,” Romano argued.
“But you know Romano,” Italy piped up, “If you hadn’t said what you did, England might never have found the journal... and I might still be dead.”
No, that wasn’t true. He didn’t change anything. If he hadn’t been there, someone else then would have. The journal would have made it back eventually. He didn’t do anything important. Romano argued to himself in denial.
"Did any of you manage to find anything?" England asked axis trio.
Italy put on a brave smile, "No. We really couldn't find anything. I'm sorry."
"No. Its fine I didn't expect we would yet. But perhaps the others have found something," England concentrated. There were many things he'd learned from the last time. Now he had to apply them and get them out of here. It was his turn to protect everyone.
"What were you looking for?" Spain asked, not following the conversation.
"The key, a way out, a clue, anything that could help us escape from here," England summed up.
"Didn't ... Wasn't it supposed to have always been found in the attic?" Romano chose his words carefully, eyeing his brother.
"What attic?" Japan asked, thinking they had searched every room in this house by now.
"There are these... metal pieces that make a key that opens the staircase. The lock for it is next to the bookshelf, behind the... mochi creature," Spain tried to explain.
"What mochi?!" They all said in confusion.
"You don't.... on the fourth floor. The room across from the one with the lever. There's a bookshelf with a little creature stuck between it and the wall... You were the one who found it Japan," Spain got really confused by the different time loops. He never wanted to know which one they were in so badly.
“So in this world there was no mochi??” Prussia asked. Where the hell did the strange pudgy creature come from then?
“No, it wasn’t in this world or the two worlds before. I don’t remember where it came from exactly, but after this world it was always around somewhere,” Italy explained.
The group that belonged to this timeline already started moving towards the stairs, causing Spain to ask a question, "Where are you all regrouping? In this world I mean. Where's your safe room?"
"Safe room? I don't know what you mean by that. We're constantly in danger. And that room is no exception. As for where we're meeting though, its the fireplace room on the second floor," England informed them, leading them down the stairs.
Romano fell behind to the back of the group, where he noticed Italy cautiously keeping his distance, and he had a long conversation with him. But the two of them spoke in hushed voices. The conversation being followed now was the one between England and Spain.
“So I realize he’s pretty much always like this, but did something happen that made Romano more cranky than usual?” England asked intuitively.
"To be honest we're a bit worried about our time... While we've been here something happened to Italy," Spain confessed.
England could sympathize. It still felt fresh for him, after all he had only just lived through a similar experience. Although it gave him a better hope for his own timeline. According to Spain, this time in the future wasn't going as well as they pretended. His own however was getting by so far. If he could use Spain and Romano's help perhaps they could avoid that tragic future altogether by escaping in this one.
The scene shifted suddenly to the Fireplace room. In the middle of the discussion Spain had with the group, and Romano had had with his brother.
“So if it’s true that finding these pieces can lead to us getting out of here. Where can we find them? And how many are there?” China asked.
“There’s only two, and it looks like you’ve already found one of them. As for where to find them. I don’t really know, they could be in different places every time,” Spain explained.
“Then we should make it a priority to find these metal pieces,” England agreed, “But where should we look?”
While the group began discussing who was looking where, France and Prussia kidnapped Spain to the side. “So what’s with this time travel story?” Prussia asked.
Spain laughed, surprised by the sudden kidnapping, “Woah, you caught me off guard... What did you want to know?”
“We were wondering how you got here,” France repeated, “Is this future crap the truth, or what’s really going on Spain?”
“Si, it’s really true,” Spain answered.
“Then if this time. If this time has definitely failed... Why would you come back here?” France asked trying to get more information on what was going on.
Spain scratched at the back of his head trying to think of how to explain as simply as possible, “Well. We had to go back. Something happened when we tried to get the key, and Italy, Germany, and America ended up somewhere in the past. We got them back without too much trouble, but some of the creatures we were fighting wound up in the past. We didn’t want anything to alter the future we were in so we went back to take them out before anything changed... Except, something must have happened to England while we were here because our way back disappeared,” Spain rubbed the back of his head embarrassedly, “and of course now we’ve likely altered our time already by changing the past.”
Prussia had a hard time following, “Spain you’re such a freaking Syfy nerd.”
“Should we be concerned something like this might happen if we try and get this key as well?” France asked in all seriousness.
“I don’t think so. It was supposed to be pretty easy every time before,” Spain considered.
“Wait. If you’ve had the key before, why didn’t you just escape then?” Prussia asked.
“... Up until now,” Spain’s expression dropped, “We had always lost people before making it that far...”
Prussia swallowed hard. This was some pretty serious shit. The two of them had both seen this monstrous creature, but they had never fought it before. The thought that they could die... “H-Hey, but we’re nations right? We can’t die.”
Spain didn’t answer.
Romano’s outburst suddenly broke the silence, “Look Around Yourself! Dammit.”
The room stopped and stared at Romano who refused to look at anyone but Italy, who in turn, just stared at his feet.
Spain thought quickly to try and direct attention away from Romano. He rejoined the main group, “Hey. I just remembered something. Italy and America found one of the pieces in the room across the hall. It’d be a great place to start looking at least.”
Romano had backed his way into the shadows of the room, wishing he could disappear. Like it wasn’t enough that he had to live through this embarrassing failure the first time. Now everyone was watching.
It took Italy a moment to notice how upset Romano looked, “...Romano? Are you ok?” Italy asked not understanding Romano’s depression. The depressing stuff wasn’t happening yet.
“I’m fine, dammit. Just pay attention to something more important,” Romano growled.
Italy dropped it for the moment, he would wait until they were alone to confront his brother. The scene was beginning to change already.
A large grey monster lashed out at them, claws like daggers dragged themselves across Italy’s chest, tearing clothing and skin to ribbons. Italy backed up as Germany fought the creature off him. The torn skin on Italy’s chest beginning to bleed. Thankfully the scratch was nothing too serious, but. He looked around the room.
France had a broken arm, he pretended didn’t hurt so he could continue to fight. Japan had suffered a concussion. Canada had a severe puncture wound to side that kept him from moving around too much. China’s ankle was broken, and he could no longer run. Prussia’s body was covered with so many scars.... Germany’s too. They were all littered with gashes that wouldn’t heal fast enough.
It was too much. They weren’t going to make it, Italy realized. They failed. This was supposed to be his chance. His one shot at saving them... Would they have to go back? Do all of this again?! He couldn’t. It was hard enough coming back here this time. How long were they expected to go through this? He never felt so alone.
“We’ve jumped really far!” Italy noticed with shock. They had only moved to fourth floor lever room, but this was a lot further along in time than he had expected. They had already looked around the mansion as much as they could for the second piece. They still were unable to get into the basement because they hadn’t found the key, and England relocked the piano room to prevent anyone from falling prey to it. He took Italy’s warnings the last time seriously now.
“What’s going on? Why do we suck?! This one isn’t even that bad if it was all of us,” Prussia commented.
“We didn’t know how to fight it back then,” Italy revealed, “We were pretty defenseless against it. And to us back then, this was an undefeatable nightmare.”
“Then why the hell are we still fighting it aru?” China asked.
“Over here,” England moved fearlessly as a transparent figure, behind the creature. He stooped down to point at something under the table, “This is the last piece we needed to get to the attic.”
Death hung over the room. It was in the air, promising to touch down at any moment. Italy sobbed into his hands. He had lost the will and strength to move. Unlike most of his friends he was immobilized due to cowardice rather than pain. And yet it was him who survived. Why him?! Whether it was outliving everyone else, or carrying the burden of that secret on his own, he was always alone. Always. Alone...
“Look Around Yourself!” The words repeated in his head, followed by his brother’s scowl. Romano was somehow the only one to know. He didn’t know how he’d managed to figure it out but even knowing Romano had been there for him... But now he’d lost even that. Because it was never really his Romano. His own brother was back at the meeting place. He had nothing now. He was completely alone. How was he supposed to get through this alone?
“Look Around Yourself!” The words echoed louder in his brain. Romano’s frustrated expression growing angrier.
“How scary,” Italy thought to himself. Nevertheless he did as he was told. He looked around.
The violence was still very real. All around him his friends were hurt and dying. But as he looked he saw Germany and Russia tag team, fighting the monster backs together. China was helping wrap Japan’s wounds. For once, it even looked like England and France were getting along. What was this?
This was the friendship he’d been seeking he realized. This trip was supposed to be an outing they could do together to become closer. Well he couldn’t say it had been much fun, but they had grown closer, hadn’t they. What else had Romano said? ... “Is that really what everyone else is thinking?”. Italy forced himself to continue looking at his friends in the room, even while the bloodshed, and the guilt made him want to look away. He comforted himself by reminding himself that he wasn’t saying anything yet.
If he was to tell them everything now. Would they believe him? It would be hard to ignore now, he realized. There were too many reasons they would listen. It wouldn’t be like when he tried at the beginning. ...But this was still his fault. He didn’t say something when he should have. He could have been more help. He should never have told America in the first place. If he had never said anything to America at all they wouldn't be here now. How could they forgive him? He thought with exasperated breaths of Germany and Japan yelling at him, and blaming him for all of this, as he watched them fight. Be he also watched them guard one another’s backs. “Is that really what everyone else is thinking?” Romano’s words reminded him.
He watched Germany take a bad blow to his right arm, a gash about a quarter inch deep dragged across mid-arm. Italy held his head in his hands unable to watch this massacre. If by some miracle they survived this, he promised, he would tell them.
The fighting carried on in the room for several minutes before silence finally fell. Tentatively Italy peaked out between his fingers, terrified of what he might see. The creature had vanished as suddenly as it appeared. Germany and the others had suffered many more injuries as well. But miraculously, they were all alive.
They retrieved their prize, a small metal lump on the floor. Italy couldn’t stop crying as he made it over to the rest of the group, stepping over little puddles and drips of spilt blood. The smell of iron was strong, but none of that mattered when it meant they were all alive.
Italy helped America walk to the door. His hair was very red near the back from the blood that had stained it when he hit the wall. His leg was also torn up from where the creature had grabbed it. He had never seen one of these monsters this powerful before. It worried him what awaited them now.
The group moved back to the second floor to recover. The door to fireplace room they had been staying in was still broken open. They had been attacked once there too. They never saw it coming. The door was just suddenly gone. Shattered against the wall as the creature entered and began it’s attack. They had since moved down the hallway, to the next room with a lock. Not that they felt this lock would hold either. It just felt safer that anywhere else.
England locked the door behind them and everyone began to rest, many of them on the floor. Canada and America being the two most severely damaged took the room’s only beds. Prussia Germany and Japan sat on the table, resting their sore backs against one another for support. Italy had still forgotten to bring along any first aid, and he had already used all of the materials from his flags. He had nothing left to patch them up with. Many of their clothes were torn and used as bandages. Japan was wearing the spare outfit he had brought along when he assumed he would be staying at Germany’s afterwards. His original had been torn completely to shreds and used as bandages for the entire group.
Italy worried that their injuries were too severe, that they wouldn’t make it. Things were getting scary, they were at a very critical point. They had to either escape or recover quickly, their stamina wouldn’t hold out much longer, and when it runs out someone would die. He couldn’t let that happen.So he had to figure this out now. Only he had no idea what to do, he felt so alone. “Look around yourself,” Romano’s words repeated in his brain once again reminding him of his promise. It would be ok... right? His brother promised him it would be...
“U-umm,” Italy’s voice spoke as he tried to speak, his hand clenching over his heart.
“Well we’ve got the last piece. That should at least mean we can open the attic now, but considering everyone’s injuries, would we not be better off resting here for a while first?” England suggested.
“Not unless we want to risk being attacked in our sleep like last time,” Canada reminded England while clutching his injured side. The memory of that nightmarish creature breaking down the door sent shivers down his body.
Italy closed his eyes to try and help him find the courage. He had to say it. Even if he wasn’t sure how. He couldn’t let them keep going like this; he had to help. “E-excuse me... I, I have something I need to tell all of you,” Italy tried his best to speak loudly but the words came out broken.
“What is it Italy? Is something wrong?” Germany asked with some concern, because up until now, Italy had seemed the most optimistic.
Italy opened his eyes to see that all eyes had turned to him. Italy didn’t like the feeling. It was a guilty emotion. He stared at the floor. “I-I’ve been keeping secrets from all of you.”
“What? Italy, What are you saying?” Japan responded with shock.
“What kind of secrets?” Prussia asked.
England was thrown off by Italy’s sudden confession. He had been keeping his eye on Italy, what kind of secrets could he be hiding.
“For starters,” Italy paused looking around at all of their shocked and confused faces. He was so scared he was actually trembling, “It wasn’t America who discovered this place... It’s my fault we ever came here.”
“What are you saying?” France asked having a hard time following.
“Italy...” America sighed, Italy really didn’t have to tell everyone, he was fine with taking the blame for it, really.
“I heard about this place from that town... If - If I had never told America,” Italy began to sob. The what if’s would haunt him forever because it seemed he would get the chance to watch them all fail. All but the one solution he knew would lead them out of here with all certainty, “Never Enter The Mansion”.
Italy felt a hand on his back, and then another. He opened his teary eyes to see Germany and Japan on either side of him. “It’s okay Italy, It’s not your fault,” Germany offered.
“No one blames you,” China comforted.
“You may have been the one to set out the rails,” Japan answered, “but we were the ones who decided to walk on them.”
Italy’s sobbing grew louder as he tried to rub away the tears, “Everyone...”
To feel the comfort of forgiveness was a miracle. The weight had been lifted from his tiny shoulders. The loneliness dissipating, back into the darkness.
But there was still more ahead of him. More secrets he had to reveal. More he had yet to fear. Italy pulled away from the group, his guilty expression dropping as he spoke again, “T-There’s more.”
More? England wondered. What more could he be hiding? The truth that Italy had been the one to discover this place had come as a bit of a surprise to him, but how could there be any more?
“I- ...” Italy struggled to find the words to explain it, “This isn’t the first time we’ve come here.” There he said it. The words were out there, now he just had to wait... and hope. Hope that this wouldn’t make him even more alone.
“So you can remember it too?!” England asked in great shock. He didn’t think Italy had remembered because of how the last time had ended.
Italy had been ready for them to call him a liar, and to, when they finally realized it was the truth, to hate him, this was, “What?! England... You can remember the last time as well?!”
“What’s going on? Now we’re all talking about past time loops or something?! When did this happen?” Prussia asked, voicing the confusion of the rest of the group.
“Do you remember when we were visited by Spain and Romano? Well like they said, we’ve been here before. This isn’t the first time we’ve had to come here in order to escape,” England quickly explained before returning to Italy, “But Italy. I wish you had told us sooner we might have even been able to convince everyone not to come here.”
“Italy did say something to us though. When we first got here. Of course we thought he was just scared of the mansion, even when it turned out there was a monster here, we brushed it off as merely a coincidence,” Japan spoke in Italy’s defense.
“But what about when Spain and your brother showed up? If you had told us then we could have understood,” Germany asked Italy frustrated that he was only hearing all this now.
“By that point,” Italy spoke cautiously, “I had already come to the assumption that we would all work together better if I kept these things to myself.”
“So what made you change your mind?” Canada asked curiously.
Italy smiled, “It was my brother,” He explained, “He was the one who told me I needed to look around myself.”
The amount of shock that reached Romano’s face was immeasurable. He looked stunned, his expression vacant as he receded into himself. Did he hear that right? ... Did his fratello really just say that it was because of... him? Romano had been so sure that he had failed his little brother, that despite his efforts, nothing he did was any use. Had he been wrong this whole time?
“This was the first time I had ever found the courage to tell you all, and it’s because of the words Romano said to me at the time, that I ever thought it was possible,” Italy explained, “Romano... Thank you.”
Romano was sure that, if not this time, then another time, Italy would have been able to figure it out for himself. He managed well enough in their own time line. Still, the idea that he had done something had a liberating feeling. ... He had no idea how to respond to his brother’s words of thanks.
“This was a particularly special case,” England clarified, “In this time loop both myself, and Italy had known all along that we had been here before. The problem was that neither of us had realized until this point that the other one knew.”
“I’m sorry,” Italy apologized, “If I had said something sooner, we might have been able to work together a bit more. We might not have ever had to come here in the first place.”
“It’s not your fault,” England sighed, “If anyone I should have known. I was the one to reverse time last wasn’t I?”
“Wait. Someone please explain what’s going on. You said this isn’t the first time we’ve been here, and it’s like what happened with Spain and Romano?? What do you mean by that?” America asked.
“I guess I better explain,” England spoke up realizing Italy must be far more confused by how he knew than the other way around, “This is now the third time we’ve come here-”
“Wait. England, did you say third time?!” Italy cut him off out of confusion, “This is only the second time we’ve been here isn’t it?”
“What do you mean? Last time you-” It took England a minute to figure out what Italy was missing, “Then it’s like I thought. Because the last time I was the one to reverse time, you can’t remember what happened.”
“Last time... England reversed time?” Italy clarified out of confusion. What had happened? How could he be missing an entire chunk of his memory like that?... Supposedly the same way the others couldn’t remember what happened in the past either.
England started over, “Yes. Near the end of our second attempt you sacrificed your life to give the rest of us a shot, and it was with your dying breath that you finally told us the truth. It was too late for me to do anything then, but while everyone was searching for an answer I found a certain spell book in the library. Within it were instructions on how to reverse time. Which led us here.”
“What do you mean Italy died?” Germany asked in fear.
“It was pretty traumatic to have witnessed, but according to Italy, further into the past we have all died at some point,” England explained solemnly.
Italy was trying not to be too shocked by the news that he had died before. He had watched every one of them dye now. He knew he wasn’t invincible. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. “So then. This spellbook. Did it look like this?” Italy pulled out the journal he had been keeping tucked away until now.
England pulled out the same journal, the one he found upon first entering this place, “I found that same journal at the front of the building when I first got here, but no. The spellbook I found was in the library on the third floor.”
“Then we used different methods to bring back time. How interesting,” Italy thought, not that he could decide what that meant. And what was with this additional journal? Perhaps this place recognized England as someone else with the the power to reverse time?... Or something like that.
“I hate to change the subject, but If Spain and Romano are truly from the future, wouldn’t that mean that our time line has already failed?” Russia asked.
“Russia makes a good point aru. How can we be sure that this isn’t just another failed attempt?” China added.
“It isn’t. The two of them have already changed the past by interacting with us. The past can be changed, and we can get out of here. We know better now,” England shook his head disagreeing.
France shot a look to Prussia, who nodded in agreement, “That reminds me. Before Spain had left. Prussia and I had a talk with him.”
“He said something had happened to the England in their world, and that was why they were stuck here so long,” Prussia finished.
Of course. Their “perfect future” seemed less perfect by the minute. England was glad he had decided to stay true to his own, “He mentioned similar concerns with Italy. This is exactly why we have every bit as much chance as they do!” England encouraged everyone.
The scene changed suddenly to the attic. The tired and injured group moved slowly passed the cage containing many large creatures.
“Shit there’s so many!” Prussia exclaimed unsheathing his sword.
“Don’t worry,” Italy spoke in a shaky voice. They didn’t even make it to this point the last time, but the first time... “They can’t get out, so we are safe as long as we don’t open the gate.”
England eyed the beasts nervously, “Italy there’s a door at the end of this hallway. What should we expect behind it?”
“There’s another monster waiting just inside, but it’s slow. We should be safe so long as we don’t get too close. The key should be on the wall near the back,” Italy informed them.
The door opened and they stormed in. An ugly grey blob shuffled slowly from the far right corner of the room. A thousand eyes became centered on them as it moved unblinkingly, scraping its mangled body against the ground.
“What is that thing?!” America cried out in horror.
“It’s not important. Look! Against that wall. There’s the key!” Italy pointed out.
“Wait what?!” America interrupted. “How is the key there!? I’m mean I realize Italy said it had always been there in the past, but if they found the key then...” He had been following so far, but if this group found the key and everyone was still alive, shouldn’t they have escaped?!
Italy’s face had gone pale. He had gone from happy and nostalgic, to sullen and sad in a rather short amount of time. The memory was somewhat fuzzy, but he knew they didn’t survive this.
England, being the only other one to remember what happened next, tried to comfort him, “It’s alright Italy. If it’s too hard for you, you don’t have to watch.”
Italy shook his head brushing away not yet formed tears, “No. I’m ok. It had to happen this way. Or we would have never gotten as far as we are now.”
“What had to happen. What way?” Japan asked nervously.
Japan was ignored and attention was brought back to the group from the past as they started to leave the room.
Italy held the key tightly in his small fist. It felt like magic... and hope. Tears of joy were already budding at his eyes. They were going to get out of here! All of them, together. It truly felt like a miracle. But they weren’t out yet. They still had to reach the front door. And they were starting to run ragged. “Now that we have the key, those creatures are likely to come after us even more,” Italy remembered from his first mistake, “We don’t have time to rest.”
“We don’t need to rest. We can plow over any one of them that gets between us and the door,” Russia grinned.
“No need to worry,” America laughed, “We can handle it. Let’s just get going before it has time to realize.”
And they ran. Out the door and streaking down the hall. Prussia tailed them and was the last to notice the terrifying change in the hallways. “Ah!” He scanned the cage in terror, “Where the hell did they all go!?”
“Prussia come on. You’re going to be left behind!” France called after him.
Prussia tentatively ran after them, staring at the empty cell in horror as he darted from the room. The staircases were easy. So far there was no sign of anything. Italy led the group, being the one with the fastest feet, and the key. They were going to make a break for it. So close...
Italy let out a laugh of relief as they reached the bottom of the stairs and the door was in sight. He reached his hand out for it, ready to throw it open and rush them outside. They were this close!
Out of nowhere what seemed likes a thousand enemies flashed in around him. Snarled fangs, claws like daggers, and soulless eyes a piercing black. “No!” Italy screamed, his blood running cold.
China, Prussia, and Canada hadn’t finished coming down the staircase and tried to retreat back to safety upon seeing what awaited them. The malicious creatures pulled them back down by their ankles. Screams were heard as they tried to fight back against the ever growing number of monsters.
“Oh my god," Canada voiced in shock.
"So... even if we had managed to get that key, this is what would have been our fate?!" America complained in horror.
"We could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble if we had seen these memories sooner," France commented.
Canada added forebodingly, "We had no way of knowing. But to think, this was how another promising world had ended. Without a hint of warning..."
Japan was surrounded. Six of the creatures were pressed shoulder to shoulder as they pushed to be one of the first to land a killing strike. Japan couldn't keep up with all of them. His blade was drawn, dripping with the blood of both his enemies and himself. Deep scratches tore up his face, stinging against the whipping air of a signaling attack.
Japan managed to dodge , ducking under the sharp claws and jabbing the creature in the gut with his katana. The blade bent with the forward force, it was designed for slicing and precision, not for forward force.
One of the others had been waiting for this opportunity and took him out from behind. Claws dug deep into Japan's back tearing out large chunks of flesh, catching on bone, and whipping across the room.
Japan fell with a bounce, his head hitting the floor not once but twice. Blood puddled around him, from the wound in his back. While still in place, white peaked through the carnage, his spine glinting through.
Meanwhile Italy was fighting his own battles. If he was lucky he would catch a glimpse of the others once or twice. He had no idea how they were holding up, or if they could even take all of these creatures down. But they didn't have much choice.
Italy relied heavily on his feet to keep from being hurt. He didn't have any real weapon. At the moment he was using the stick from his diminished flag. It barely helped to keep the creatures off of him, and dealt no damage.
"Oh god! Why did this have to happen!" Italy cried silently. Everything was going so well. They were going to get out! They had the key! Italy pulled himself together. No, they could still get out. They were all still alive after all. They just had too...
Italy witnessed Japan being thrown across the room. His body smashing against the floor and coming to a stop. His back... "Japan!" Italy screamed in terror rushing to Japan's side.
Japan's eyes tightened from the pain ringing in his ears. He had long complained about his back hurting, but he had never felt something like this. He tried to move, just an inch, he knew he couldn’t lie here or the enemy would get to him. However his injuries were too severe for him to move. That tiny shift in weight caused a black cloud of pain to cover his vision. He almost passed out. Squinting through the pain he could start to see the blood pooling around his body.
Italy reached out and touched Japan’s shoulder, causing Japan to flinch with pain. Italy pulled his hand away quickly, “Japan. I-I’m, sorry... I-I’ll get you patched up. You’ll be ok. W-we-we’re going to get out of here now,” Italy tried his best to sound confident, even though he knew they had already run out of bandages the last time....
Japan felt more at ease not being alone. The pain had stopped a moment ago. He simply felt numb now. And cold. He knew the end was coming, and each breath was harder than the last. “I-Italy... I I want you to promise me something... ..Get everyone else out... As long as everyone else makes it,” Japan felt peace wash over himself believing that everyone else would get out alive, “Don’t let... this be in vain.”
“No. I won’t do it without Japan!... Japan I-I’m going to get you out of here too! So please... Don’t leave me...” Italy began to cry as he realized Japan’s breathing had already stopped.
JAPAN HAS BEEN LOST...
This wasn’t happening. He couldn’t do this again! He lost them once already. This was too much! This was supposed to be his second chance. According to England his third chance he supposed. Now there would be a forth... and how many more after that? To watch them all die over and over for eternity... This was hell.
There was a loud crack! from behind Italy. Germany lashed out against a massive monster, whip in hand. “Italy, I don’t know how long I can keep this one back. Help Japan to his feet and retreat!” Germany barked his commands, too deeply engrossed in battle to notice how bad the condition Japan was in.
Tears spilled over Italy’s eyes as he tried to explain, “G-germany. Japan.... Japan he’s... dead.”
In horror Germany turned around to see Japan staring vacantly in Italy’s direction. A massive amount of blood surrounded Japan’s copse, staining the wooden floorboards. This couldn't be true. Germany didn’t believe his own eyes. Japan was... dead?
“WEST LOOK OUT!” Prussia shouted pushing Germany out of the way of a deadly swipe of the giant monster’s claws.
Germany had only looked away for a second. Now he sat on the floor, scrambling to his feet. His brother’s corpse laying before him, choking out the his last breath.
Prussia pushed his brother away just in time to save him, but not himself. The attack that was meant for Germany hit him instead. Claws raked and ripped into Prussia's stomach, carving up his insides. The blow lifted him off his feet momentarily while the claws drug themselves out of his skin, and dropped him. Prussia fell to the floor in a heap. His lungs struggled to function, as his entire body tensed up to try and keep his internal organs, internal. His body shook from strain. His stomach tried to clear its contents of blood, sending it back through his mouth. Prussia wretched up the blood still trying to breathe, as his body began to grow numb. What little he could see, was a blur of pain and panic. Prussia choked on his own blood as it came up, entering his lungs. The sudden burning sensation in his lungs shocked him out of his numb state, causing all the pain to resurface at once. He couldn't expel the blood obstructing his windpipe fast enough. His vision started to go dark... ... ...and then at last, he felt a release.
PRUSSIA HAS BEEN LOST...
Italy was the first to speak. He spoke in a hushed broken voice, "Oh, GOD!" He cried. First Japan, and now Prussia?! It was happening too fast!
Germany closed his eyes holding back the tears of anger and grief. He had to think. There were still others. They had to save as many as they could. "Italy," he instructed, "find the others. We can't fight them. We have to retreat."
Italy looked up with scared teary eyes, "But. Japan and Prussia-"
"Go!" Germany scolded him, not meaning to be harsh but trying to get him to move, "Or else more will die!"
Fear locked onto Italy. "No. Please no more," he thought. He found himself standing. And the running. Looking for the others, within the sea of monsters.
Over by the stairs Russia was also fighting a losing battle. The number of monsters in the immediate area was innumerable, but it felt like for every one they managed to kill, two more appeared in their place.The number surrounding Russia was ever increasing as well. He was pressed against the wall lashing out at them with his modified pipe enough to keep them back. Victory seemed impossible, but so did escape.
Russia was reminded of his childhood. It had been a long time since he was the outgunned in a fight. During that time his life had been nothing but a constant bombardment of war, bloodshed and violence. And that never stopped... but he had grown stronger for it. However this was different from his childhood. This time, he had something worth fighting for.
The blade edge of Russia’s pipe slashed through one of the monsters faces, causing it to scream, “dIE!” as it vanished from sight.
Three more creatures fought for it’s space, in the tightening circle around Russia. It was endless.
Russia kept them off and waited for an opening. There! He thrusted the blade up at one of the monsters’ exposed jawlines. It was a direct hit. The blade carried straight up through the creatures jaw and into its skull. It vanished in an instant.
However the move was costly. One of the others had been watching him, and was prepared for this attack. While Russia killed one of them he was left vulnerable. The monster lunged at Russia, claws raking across his scarf, and neck. The claws just grazed his skin at first, before the threads of the scarf snapped and the claws sunk deeper into Russia’s throat, puncturing his windpipe. Fire blazed across Russia’s throat as the claws their way across, tearing thick strips apart from his neck. Threads of the scarf followed the creatures hand as they became tangled.
Russia gasped for air. His hands reaching up for his neck as he dropped the pipe. Blood flowed heavily across his skin trailing his tattered scarf, dying it red, as his sliced jugular provided a constant stream of color. It began filling up his lungs with acid like liquid. No air, only fire. Russia screamed out in his mind, although he could no longer scream. The air that escaped his lips would not return. Not now. He could keep fighting! He didn’t mean to let up. One more chance please. Words of his past haunted him in his final moments, “tHeRE aRE nO SeCoNd ChANceS.” ... It was too late. Even though he had finally managed, after all this time, to make some friends...
RUSSIA HAS BEEN LOST...
Canada fought against the ever persistent horde, his brother at his back. It was a losing battle, but so long as they fought together they should be able to hold them off. Hopefully long enough to make a break. He could already hear Italy calling for a retreat. Beyond that, he was blinded by the wall of enemies.
“America to your right,” Canada warned unable to block the attack he saw aimed at his brother from his peripheral. Kumajiro moved around the creatures’ feet, fighting tooth and claw to slow them down or attack what little he could. Canada took a few more arrows off his back and tightened his grip on the bow he kept hidden under his coat. He was running dangerously low on arrows, and he wasn’t good at this close range deal. Every shot had to count. Canada reloaded and aimed between the eyes of one of the creatures that took a step too close. The arrow landed directly between it’s eyes but not very deep. The monster screeched rearing it’s head back, but not faltering in it’s attack. Claws brushed against Canada’s coat as he managed to dodge just before the claws reached him.
There was an ominous click from behind him coming from America. “Shhhiit!!” America cursed as his gun ran out of bullets, “Come on, come on!” America searched furiously for another bullet in his jacket, before he was attacked again.
Canada looked around frantically. The enemy was closing in fast, the others had already retreated, and they were running out of ammo. There wasn’t anything he could do! He had to think. Quickly. There must still be a way out of this. They had to get away. There was...
There was a small opening where several creatures moved apart to circle in order to attack. It was their only shot, he reminded himself. Canada dove into the sea of monsters, an arrow in each hand, as he attempted to clear a path. “America!” He shouted before one of the creatures pounded onto his head making his brain rattle, “You have... To hurry!!” Canada cried out his eyes shut tight against the pain, as he slammed another arrow into the creature’s side, the arrow breaking suddenly in his hand.
America froze in fear as he watched his brother get torn apart trying to clear a path for him. “Can-a-da...” He could barely think, “You’ll be killed!!” He shouted suddenly trying to pull him out of the mob; which in turn earned him a whack across the face from a miscalculated attack formulated by one of the surrounding enemies.
Canada used what little strength he had, to instead pull America across. Outside the enclosing circle of beasts. Canada smiled, blood dripping over his eyes from impact to his head. Claws ripped at his side, reopening the wound that had hardly begun to heal. blood spilled down his front and he fell to his knees, quaking in pain.
“Canada!!!” America tried to get back in to save his brother, but the creatures had no interest in him anymore. Whenever he got close the creatures batted him away, leaving heavy gashes across his arms and face.
Canada’s breaths were shallow as he moved like a ragdoll within the grasp of his murders. His head bounced, ringing as it hit the ground. Another swipe hit his stomach. Ripping him apart.
America watched in horror as they began to rip him apart. Canada’s body twitched as long pink entrails stretched out of his body and snapped a foot or two up in the air, falling with a wet plop, back onto his stomach. The twitching stopped.
CANADA HAS BEEN LOST...
America looked away, tears filling his eyes to a brim. There was nothing he could do. He was already too late. This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be. The words echoed in his head. OH GOD!
America ran. Around him he saw, more of these creatures finishing off the others. How many were even left?! How did this happen?! They were supposed to get out. The door was right there! America was about to fall from hysteria. The world grew fuzzy, and the only thing he was conscious of, was his heart beating faster and harder. He spotted the backs of a few of the others as they retreated. He caught up quickly. First priority was to get someplace safe. And then... Somehow they’d get them back!
Italy turned around and did a head count as they reached the end of the hall. Only five people had followed him. America taking up the rear. Monsters were following shortly behind and closing in. “No,” Italy thought, “This couldn’t be it.” What about Canada? and Russia?! Surely they hadn’t...
“America?” England asked as America caught up to them, “Where’s-” He stopped mid-question noticing America’s expression.
“Oh non...” France’s expression fell sullen.
“I realize you’re grieving,” Germany stated bluntly, “but we can’t stay here. Those creatures are still after us.”
“Then where are we supposed to go?” China asked feeling cornered.
“Italy, where is the clock you used to reverse time? If we go there-” England began to ask.
“I-I don’t know. I looked when we got here, but it’s not there this time! Can’t you reverse time England? Like you did last time?” Italy panicked.
England looked disappointed with himself and cursed under his breath, “I can’t. Unfortunately it’s not a spell I’m terribly familiar with. I’d need to find that spellbook again... Last time it was upstairs.”
The sound of Germany’s whip resonated through them, “We don’t have time for this!” Germany barked, fighting off the first of the creatures to catch up, “We have to find somewhere. Anywhere!”
Four more soon began to surround Germany. It was happening again. France and China exchanged glances. “The two of us can hold them off for now,” France announced stepping forward and drawing his still unsheathed Fleuret (fencing sword). “The rest of you. Retreat to the basement!”
China and France fought the creatures off Germany and stepped to the front lines, as five grew to twenty. “What but the two of you can’t possibly think you can -” England stopped mid-sentence as he realized they already knew.
“But... the two of you alone-”
France looked back briefly a forlorn smile dashed across his face, “We’ll meet up again soon,” He promised. But the promise was only an assurance that they didn’t intend on making it.
England growled angrily as he turned away. He didn’t want to accept it, but what choice did he have? He had no time to think of a better solution, but he knew he would soon... and regret every step he was about to take.
“England. W-we can’t just leave them! there’s no way they can-” America argued even though he could not fight himself.
“We have no choice!” England shouted, “Our priority needs to be reversing time. Let’s get to the basement and see if we can wait them out.”
Hesitantly the remaining three followed, leaving China and France behind.
CHINA HAS BEEN LOST...
FRANCE HAS BEEN LOST...
Two, Three, Four heads darted through the metal gates. Germany closed and locked it behind them just as the creatures rounded the corner coming down the hall.
“Do you think it’ll hold them??” Italy asked panicky as they came within feet of the bars.
One of them began to shake the bars violently, another charged them. The bars didn’t budge. “I think so... At least for now. But we should head deeper in while they’re distracted,” England added warily.
They had never been down this way before. They had just found the key in the attic along with the front door key, and one that was titled “Annexe”. It was lucky they were all labeled or they might not have been able to escape here.
“Agreed,” Germany nodded stepping away from the gate. They needed to get out of sight from these creatures or they would only continue to try and get through.
“L-let’s go this way!” Italy led them to the left, unsure of where it would lead.
America looked over his shoulder as he ran after them, waiting for some sign from the others, any of them. They weren’t dead right? This wasn’t real! They couldn’t all be... America turned and looked forward again, wiping his tears away as they came like buckets.
They passed through the little study room and to the tunnel-like halls that came next. Their goal was distance. This wasn’t a time to explore, it was time to retreat. The cave like halls led straight for a while until making a sudden turn left. A mysterious light emanated from that direction. What exactly was down here?
Italy, who was in the lead, was the first to see it. He stopped running halfway down the tunnel. He fell to his knees as he saw it, heavy tears rolled off his cheeks as he cried.
“Italy, what’s wrong?” Germany asked rounding the corner, as well.
The four of them looked ahead. Bright light filled a large opening in the ceiling down the hall. A ladder made from rope swayed from its entrance all the way down to the floor.
“It was here. We could have. We could have all gotten out from the very start!” Italy cried, remembering every time he had watched his friends die. For some of them, it was more than once now. How many times was this? They had been here three times already! And to think... They could have escaped the first time.
America walked up to the ladder with disbelief. Was this for real? They found an exit now?! What was the point in escaping now?! Everyone was dead! America looked up at the bright blue sky as he placed his hand on the scratchy rope ladder.
The physical touch of escape made America so angry he couldn’t control himself, “FUCK!!!!” America yelled punching the wall to his immediate left.
The rock tumbled away, leaving a sizeable gap. America almost fell into it with the weight of his propulsion. He clasped onto a small ledge on the other side for support.
“America!” England shouted worriedly. England and Germany started to pull him back.
America took a deep breath, letting his anger go. He was still beyond upset, but he could think more rationally if he stopped punching walls. “Sorry...” He apologized.
“You’re hurt!” Italy pointed out.
America looked down at his hand, which was bleeding, and had bits of peeled skin and dirt stuck to it, “Oh this? I’ll be fine,” America assured him. America thought about the ledge, and about what just happened. They were going to reverse time, so they wouldn’t be able to remember what happened at the front door, nor rope ladder, nor half a million other things that happened during this time. He needed to warn them somehow. “Say, Italy. do you have an extra sheet of paper in that journal of yours?” America asked.
Italy pulled out the journal, “Why do you ask America?”
America took it, before Italy could complain, and tore out the last page in the book. “A-America that’s!” Italy worried about how well the journal would work with a missing page.
“Sorry I needed the paper. What about a pen? Do you have a pen?” America asked handing the journal back to Italy.
“America, what are you doing?” England asked, as Italy pulled out a pen.
“Writing a letter,” America replied.
“Hey!” America shouted alerting the rest of the onlookers who had become silent after watching the horrific events that had just occurred, “This is it! This is where the letter must have come from!”
“What letter?” Canada asked.
“The one we found when we were searching the basement,” England confirmed.
“It said: ‘To the me in the future. Somehow I doubt anyone else would be able to find this spot. Which is why I’m sure it won’t get snatched up by one of those creatures. We aren’t doing so well here in the past, although I guess that’s why there’s still a future me who would read this. Anyways, if you find the front door key, Don’t go to the front door! It’s a trap! ... That’s how we lost everyone. We’ve been cornered down here. Which is how we discovered this ladder. It’s too late for us, but if it’s still there in the future, that’s our best shot. As soon as you can get everyone try and escape from here. The front door was...
I won’t be able to remember this so I hope this note makes it in time.
From, your past self - America’” America read the letter aloud.
“Unfortunately. We are a little late to use the rope ladder in the basement. But the warning of the front door was something far more alarming,” England mentioned.
“But we’ve spent all this time trying to find the front door key! Where else can we go?” China asked.
“We found what looks like a tunnel system behind bars in the annexe,” France mentioned, “It’s possible they could lead to another way out.”
“UGH! I can’t believe it! So even if we had found the key in the attic. THIS would have been the outcome?” Prussia complained. Talk about unfair, this mansion played by a set of rules none of them had ever seen.
“Maybe not...” Canada mentioned, “We’ve gotten stronger after every time we’ve been here. And, thanks to Germany’s safe room, we weren’t exhausted and beat up before we went there. Also it looked like it was the same creatures... at least to start with, that were in that cage in the attic. We had to fight them off too. It might not be so impossible for us to fight them off now.”
“Still... That’s not a risk I’d like to take...” Spain uttered thoughtfully.
“Actually. That’s not such a bad idea...” England agreed with America, “At this point we are staying with this timeline only until we can find a way to reverse time again. Knowing that we’re going back may give us an advantage. We could set things up for that future where everyone is together. Make sure they don’t fall down the same paths that we did.”
“But, what can we do for the future?” Italy asked.
England thought it over, “Alright, so here’s the plan. We leave notes, warnings, all over the mansion. Create fail safes to protect the future. Whatever we can, until we find either that clock, or the spell book I found last time.”
“I like it. I won’t pretend I understand any of this time traveling business, but if there’s a way that I can still do something to - to change this outcome,” Germany agreed.
“Let’s start by finishing our search of this basement. The more we can find out about this place the better,” England encouraged them.
“It get’s a little confusing for us here,” Italy spoke as the scene around the observers from the future began to change, alternating between several scenes, “As to which part came first.” Italy explained holding his head as he struggled to remember.
“Don’t strain yourself,” England patted him on the back, “Let the memories come. It doesn’t really matter what order they came in as long as we can explain them.”
Italy nodded and a single memory surfaced.
Italy sat in the room in the basement just before the cave-like portion where they discovered the rope ladder. He had open the last - or second to last seeing as America tore out the last - page of the journal. He needed to write a letter as well. It was important after all. He wouldn’t be able to remember this... He needed to make sure the him in the future did though. They were all depending on it. Of course it wasn’t easy. It took him such a long time to finally open up... And some very precious words. Italy wrote as much of them as he could think of.
Italy read it over to himself when he was done, “‘To the me who lives at some point in time... and who isn’t alone. Once again, I made some mistakes, and also some progress. Meanwhile, I finally, but slowly, began to learn to rely on my friends. I was constantly afraid that everyone would blame me for dragging them into this, and that they would hate me, or be appalled at me, or get mad at me, and leave me... But then I was told that I had the wrong idea. They were very mad at me. Not that they hit me, but it really hurt. I finally figured it out, but I can’t pass this memory onto my next self. Unfortunately, I’ll lose my life yet again. That’s why I’m writing a letter. Say thanks to England. And tell them the truth. I’m sure they’ll get mad, but it’s not that they hate you or think you’re a pain. Why didn’t you rely on your friends sooner? What are friends for? That’s what they told me, and that’s what they’re going to tell you too. I’m sure I’ll cry.’”
Something was still missing. “... and then... and then...” He added trying think of the right words. He needed something. Some powerful words. Something special that after reading, the future him would have no choice but to understand. Of course very few words like that existed. There were a few though...
“Look around yourself!” Italy shouted smiling as he remembered those important words his brother had told him.
This was when I wrote that note. The one that I addressed to my future self... and the one that gave me the courage to finally tell all of you,” Italy explained. He smiled elaborating the further importance of this scene, “It was because of this letter, that I was able to feel confident in telling you all. And it was because of my brother that I ever found the words to explain.” Italy laughed smiling warmly at his brother, “I have to thank you once again Romano.”
So, even in their own timeline. When Italy found that letter, it was still because of him? Romano wasn’t sure how to process this information. What was he talking about? since when had he done anything useful?! Was this some kind of prank or something?!
But it wasn’t. Every word of it was the truth. He still adamantly tried to deny it to himself, but it was the truth. Tears started to brim at Romano’s eyes and spilled over suddenly.
“Romano? are you crying?” Italy asked, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m not crying dammit!!” Romano rubbed away his tears quickly before anyone could see. His voice shook as he spoke, “I’m fine!” And he would be. Once he let it sink in that he had made a difference, maybe one of the greatest differences. Once he noticed that he had saved his brother.
Power surged through England’s palms as he attempted to record the strongest message he could send. This was important and everything had to be said just right. It was a warning, and also a gift to his future self. Spain had mentioned, there might be something wrong with England’s magic in the past, and that something had happened to Italy. These were his main concerns as he addressed his future self.
There. It was set up, now he just needed to record the message, he needed to making it brief in order to ensure he would still have enough magic to do a few more things he had plans for. “To my future self who is watching this. There is no time to explain much. If by any chance Italy dies, find the journal! In return, you'll get his memories as well as my life! Go back without fail! Go back in time! Save Italy,” England took a deep breath sealing it off. The message should be enacted as soon as the box was opened next.
Italy walked into the room. “I wanted to write a letter to my future self too, considering we won’t be able to remember this. Can I add it to the time capsule too?” Italy asked.
“Go ahead,” England answered trying not to invade Italy’s privacy about the contents of his letter. England placed a clock he found in the other room into the little box as well. He managed to record his memory of Italy’s death onto the clock. He didn’t know the exact details of what happened to this future Italy but he assumed it was similar to what happened in the past. Therefore, England thought this might serve as a warning at least.
The box closed and the magic set in place.
“I found that clock in the other room,” England explained, “The past seemed to be out of order all the time in the mansion, and we were really at a loss as to how to correct it. At some point in this jumbled world we discovered it had a physical form in the clocks. Clocks recorded all of time, taking note of each moment in our past. Breaking them would cause us to remember things we had forgotten at those specific points in time. However I was able to imprint a few of our memories onto two of these clocks, in order for us to be able to use this information in the future. The clock I placed in the box is one of them. The other, is the one we are all experiencing right now... I’ll explain that one in a moment.”
“That’s incredible!” Canada commented, impressed by England’s power.
“Unfortunately, that’s the same reason why our memory is all jumbled about the last part. We began messing around with time so much, it became unclear what order things were happening in,” England explained.
England handed Germany a box similar to the one they found in the pantry in the kitchen. In fact it was a duplicate he found in the same room. “Germany, I’ve placed that mysterious key inside this box, it’s passcode protected so hopefully it won’t vanish suddenly. It’s important, as we still have no idea where it leads. It could even be another way out. I need you to hide it someplace safe, until our future selves are in need of it,” England passed the box to Germany. They had looked all over this mansion for something it could open. Or, given it’s name, something it could lead to. But they found nothing. Their only certainty at this point was that it must lead to something important.
“Wait, a key that you weren’t sure where it led to??” America asked reeling in the information.
“Yes, it’s exactly what you're thinking. That key is the one we need to open the cell in the annexe ...ha... I almost forgot about it,” England put his hand to his head taking a deep breath, so many things to remember at once! He looked to Germany, “Germany. You wouldn’t happen to remember where you hid it, would you?”
Germany shook his head, “I’m sorry, but other than this, I don’t remember anything from the past.”
The four nations stood in a circle in the room on the fourth floor across from the lever room. Each of their hands touched the the clock in front of them as England recited a spell. “I want each of you to focus on your memories of this time, hopefully we can record it as a warning for the future,” England asked of them.
“This is when we saved this memory. Given how delicate everything that happened in this time was we decided it was best to leave a message for our future selves. However, quite intentionally, saving the memory to the clock, blocked it from our own minds. Due to the sensitive nature of this world we needed to make absolutely certain we did nothing to alter its course further. It wasn't supposed to really affect us until we rewound time, but of course it also took on some immediate effects,” England explained the situation.
“We had trouble remembering suddenly, what we had already done, and the things we had witnessed within the mansion,” Italy added.
The room flashed and the four were once again in the same room, only they were just entering. “This is where I found it,” Italy explained showing England the closet in the room. Only it wasn’t a closet anymore. An entire room appeared where a closet once stood. A large echoing grandfather clock alone stood forebodingly in the room.
“Good. This will be it then. Do you still have the key?” England asked Italy.
Italy nodded holding out in his palm. He hadn’t let it out of his hand since he first got it.
“Don’t ever let it go. With any luck it will travel back in time with us and we can leave as soon as everyone realizes the danger,” England reminded him of their plan.
England opened a spellbook he had secure in his hands. It was the very same spellbook he found last time, although he found it in the library on the first floor, not the third. Things moved around in the mansion without warning. Among other things they found a useful piece of information on a sheet of paper scattered across the table. The leaflet appeared to have been torn from a book, or judging from the hand scrawled notes, a notebook. The note held information about the clock, and what it could be used for...
England spent a considerable amount time looking through the spell book once he got it. He performed a number of spells in it, to try and benefit the next world. There was still one left to try. He would have to get it set up before Italy started the clock.
“England, what’s this ‘last thing’ you needed us to do?” America asked.
England pulled out an old and smushed rice ball. “You remember what Spain and Romano... or maybe you weren’t there... But Germany, you should..” England sighed. His body ached; they had been at this too long. So much of his power had already been used up. He was running on empty. England held out the rice ball in his hands, “Dou you know how a mochi is made?”
“Huh? what are you talking about Japanese desserts for all of a sudden?!” America asked, concerned that England had finally lost it. He’d been watching him slowly lose his strength a little at a time. He’d be more concerned if wasn’t for the fact that everything wasn’t about to reset.
“When we saw Spain and Romano all that time ago, they said there was supposed to be a mochi here. I have no idea how else it could have gotten here. so in order to keep things consistent, our last priority is to make one,” England sighed heavily.
“And how are we doing that?!” America asked. Last they checked they didn’t have a mortar or whatever it was they used to make these things.
England placed the smooshed rice ball in the palm of his hands and pressed, while he did this concentrated on putting his magic into it, compacting it, pulling and constricting it’s malleable shape. It was pretty low level magic, but he was already passed his limits. The exertion left him light-headed as he opened his hands to reveal a newly pressed mochi. It was a little lumpy, but the result was the same. England held it out to them, trying not to let his exhaustion show, “Like this,” He stated. Of course That wasn’t all. What point would there be in making a simple mound of rice? no, his intentions we to give it a life and a purpose. To create something that could protect future versions. To do what he could not.
“That’s it?” America asked, “Then what did you need us to bring all this stuff for?”
“I found the spell in the book. I intend to place a charm on it for protection. It will create a creature capable of doing everything we’ve been trying to in this world. Although I hate to say it... I don’t have quite enough strength yet to give enough energy myself. You’ll have to find something for it to eat,” England explained. All set. England called out to Italy who was waiting anxiously in the clock room, “Italy, you can start now.”
This was it. They were really going back. And when they did, Italy was sure he would once again think it was only the second time. He would have to go through all of this again. He hoped it would be alright though. The key firmly held in his left hand he reached up with his right; stopping the minute hand in it’s place. The first full swing of the pendulum completed with heavy thump. A short electric current ran through Italy as he pulled it one minute back. It took every bit of strength he had to not let go in that second. Letting go would make time start to reverse, holding on would make it freeze. Only it did this by stealing time from Italy’s life.
England recited the spell carefully. Was it working? Had time stopped? Had it slown down? This was a time consuming process, and they had been stalked by those creatures ever since the incident with the front door. They were running very short on time.
England said the following words as he allowed the spell to take as much from him as it needed, “patronus de perierat.”
Italy leaned against the clock, panting, just catching his breath as another electric current ran through him. His heart felt like it was about to burst, and his whole body felt as if he were on fire. The clock slipped another minute backward, zapping another minute from Italy, as he cried with long shallow breaths.
A face appeared on the newly formed creature as England struggled to find his balance.
“England! Are you alright?” America and Germany asked helping him find his balance.
“Yeah I’m... fine,” England answered as held his head. His vision was blurred and he hurt everywhere. The magic he used now was slowly killing him.... “I’m going to get some fresh air,” England said walking out of the room as carefully as possible, “Find it something to. eat.”
England tried to get his bearings as he left the room. He made it to the stairs. The room with the piano... He’d wondered about it all this time, but the risk was too great. Still all this time he felt a strange presence from there. ...They only had a few minutes left. What could it hurt to look now?
America looked at the door. What was he doing here again? His memories were starting to fade. The mochi, right. It was happily chewing on lettuce now. ...Where did England go so suddenly? “I’m going to go after England,” America announced suddenly worried about England’s physical condition.
"Wh-what the hell, you again," England stated in confusion. How did they pass him? Why, how were they here?! England felt a stab of pain as an unnatural wound opened in his shoulder, "Ow!"
America asked with concern, "Yeah...Um, what happened to your shoulder?"
"Nothing. It's...nothing," England tried not to let it show.
England looked at Italy. Something was different about him, he seemed older... "...? Wh-what? Is there something on my face?" Italy asked nervously from England's stare.
England shook his head, "No. I see...” England took a pause to breathe. That made sense now. Of course they weren’t the same, “That's it..."
"England!! Your shoulder is bleeding!" America shouted with concern.
"Yeah, I know. Stop freaking out...” England took a pause for air. He could feel his magic ripping at the seems, tearing his body apart as it tried to compensate, “Ow..."
England walked further into the room, leaning on the piano for support. "Say...America, what is your purpose here?" England asked. Surely they had to have some reason for visiting the past. Why was it that their worlds seemed to be so connected?
"What?! W-well...to escape with everyone..." America panicked.
"I know that. What I want to know is, why are you in this world?" England rephrased.
The three froze.
"Want me to be...even blunter?” England asked, realizing they were very short on time, “Tell me what you, Italy, and Germany are doing here. Why have you come...to this world?"
“...We're looking for the journal,” Germany stated quick to the point.
"Germany!" Italy scolded him. This England wasn’t supposed to know. They were supposed to be careful about what they said.
Germany continued anyways, "We can't find it anywhere. Without it, we can't go back. That's why..."
England was relived at least one of them was going to explain. Of course it was the journal. Why didn’t he think of that sooner? It always did strike him odd that there would be two journals, "Hah! Then fucking go back already. Always loitering around and making a racket, you lot..." England through the journal to their feet. Honestly... this group from the future needed to stop coming back here.
"The journal! It was with you, England?!" Italy exclaimed with shock, as he picked it up off the floor.
"I found it on the first floor...” England explained. Another unnatural wound opened across his stomach,“Ugh!...” Time seemed to flash suddenly across the room. Freezing, blinking, “What the hell?!” England became aware of their urgency quite immediately. Italy wasn’t going to be able to keep it still much longer... “You've got to run! They're already feeding it!"
"Wh-what?! What are you...talking about?" Italy asked confused by the sudden urgency and change of topic.
The door burst open and one of the larger monsters entered the room. Ha... It finally caught up...
"It's here,” England stated matter of factly. He’d been expecting it for sometime now,“You guys go back. Don't intervene anymore!"
"W-wait! Are you going to fight alone?! You can't!" America worried noticing the size of this monster and the critical condition England was in.
This might be a chance England thought. He could warn them in person. If only briefly, "Sorry, we don't have much time. You're going to die very soon. Just listen to what I have to tell you."
"What? Wait...I don't understand..." Italy shook his head completely lost.
It didn’t matter if he didn’t understand yet. The warning was the same, "Just listen to me! That's all you've got to do! Don't go to the second floor. That's all." England had no idea how Italy might die in the future, but if it was at all for the same reasons as the last time, he could at least try and keep him from meeting that fate.
The monster was still under control of the mansion, and froze with the rest of time, it moved slowly, one step closer at a time.
"Oh..." Italy answered, understanding the warning but not the reason.
"God, what a nuisance!" England muttered to himself. Both a monster and this lot. Honestly! He’d done everything to help prepare their world and here they were loitering about in the past! It all relied on him, huh? Fine he would send them back himself...
Magic began to glow around the three, as England struggled to keep his concentration, while the magic literally ripped him apart.
"I can't move!" America panicked.
"Don't worry. I'll die before it can attack you I'll teleport you back with the journal using what little magic I've got left..." England tried to calm him down. He could handle this. He had no more purpose other than to make sure that that group succeeded.
"Wait! You're-" Germany tried to stop him, knowing there was no way England could survive a fight alone with that thing.
"Please, cut it off," England asked.
A flash and they vanished.
Italy’s entire body shook as he clasped tightly to the bottom of the minute hand. The hand had become bent from Italy’s pulling, and the arrow dug deep into italy’s palm in return. Italy had no strength to stand. His heart as well, suffered many painful electric shocks. ... He was going to fall. How much longer until the next swing of the pendulum? 12 seconds... 10...
He was counting down to the end of his life...
The minute hand moved, and the electric current struck once more, coming in strong and heavy. Coursing through Italy’s heart, forcing it’s beats, and then stopping them. Italy’s sight went dark, and he felt a sudden numbness as he dropped. His body crashing falling. His heart had been fried, and his fragile body could no longer withstand the pain. He was dead before he hit the ground. His hand fell limp and the key dropped from his grasp.
“I’m sorry you guys,” Italy looked crestfallen as he looked apologetically to the rest of them, “If I hadn’t been so clumsy, we would still have the key in the next world, and we might have escaped much sooner.”
“There wasn’t anything you could do about it. don’t be so hard on yourself,” England reprimanded him.
“Italy, you really did do your best,” Japan said supportively.
America turned the knob to the room on the third floor he had never been able to enter. He’d been informed recently that the room contained a piano... and that it was too dangerous to enter. Well they wouldn’t be here in a minute, nothing could happen in this room that couldn’t be reversed in a minute, "I haven't seen this room yet. Italy told us not to come here-?! England! What are you doing?!"
England was panting, blood dripping from cuts beneath his torn clothes, as well as cuts caused by the creature he was suddenly facing.
"Oh...it's...you...” England breathed heavily. Didn’t he just send America back to his own world? What was he doing back here again? “This whole room is going to blow up in 30 seconds...You've got to run." He’d been keeping track, of every time time stopped freezing. It didn’t return this time... and that would put Italy about halfway around the clock. ...A depressing thought.
"England!!" America shouted rushing to England’s side as he started to faint while his magic pushed it’s way from his body.
England sighed heavily, breathing when he could, as he struggled to remain standing.
What the hell are those wounds?! It's no use struggling! In 30 seconds, he said...Even if I take him out into the hallway, that thing will just come after us...And attack the other... America suddenly remembered there were no others. Just Italy and Germany back upstairs. It would all be over in thirty seconds?! Why the hell did they have to spend their last moments fighting this thing?! "...I'll stay by your side. A hero could never forsake anyone," America stood in front, protecting England from the monster’s attack.
"...Idiot...fucking...show off..." England muttered out. If he had any strength left he would show America what he could really do.
The room began to shake and glow red. A warning. Ten seconds.
"Only this time, yeah, you're right," America admitted.
So it was this America after all England remembered with relief. “Idiot,” he muttered.
“What?” America asked.
“You’re a failure. Do you really think you were a hero?” England challenged him. Well if it was this America... he still had time to teach him a thing or two.
“England?” America asked with confusion, dodging one of the enemies blows.
“Listen, I’m a gentleman. Do you know what a gentleman is?” England quizzed him, still panting.
“What?… Well…” America tried to think of an answer for the random question.
“A gentleman is always ahead of the hero, you know. That’s why it came to my mind. About now you’ll be surprised…and then…” England suddenly forgot where he was going. Right... He was talking to America. And they were about to...
“… Listen, America,” England panted focusing all his attention on getting his message through.
“Yeah? What is it?” America asked hoping for an answer to england’s confusing question, before time completely restarted.
England smiled vacantly as he felt his magic, and his life flow out from him, travelling to the seal he placed on that journal, “Not being alone in your final moments… isn’t that bad, surprisingly.”
America stared at England for a moment as the movement stopped. There was no breathing.... No sign of life at all.
America forced a smile, “You’re right. I’m not that bad, either…”
A bright flash and it was over.
“Was that it?” Someone asked waiting for some sort of confirmation. The scene just ‘ended’ but they were still here. Were they stuck in some sort of limbo?
“That’s the last thing I remember,” England answered just as confused, “What’s going on?”
The scene cleared and a small mochi appeared in the center of the hallway in the attic.
“What in hell is going on?” England asked, most astounded by this. How were they even seeing this memory? None of their past selves were here.
“Is that? The front door key??” Italy asked noticing the key in it’s mouth.
The mochi ran through the attic, making a direct beeline for the front door.
“What is it doing?” Russia asked, speaking up for the first time in a while.
“I don’t know... Is it-” England watched as the creature pushed against the front door trying to reach the handle. “That creten tried to escape without us!” England realized with abhorration. After all the trouble he’d gone to! ... It’s no wonder... He thought it resembles America a little too much.
One of the monsters suddenly appeared, looming over the small mochi. The creature shrieked, and in it’s panic, decided to swallow the key. Gulp.
“It ATE it?!” was the reaction of several of the onlookers.
“You’re fucking kidding me!” America shook his head.
“So... that’s where our key went?” Italy remarked in horror.
The mochi managed to escape the monster by the door as it ran back upstairs, darting into the room on the fourth floor, and nestling itself in next to the bookshelf, guarding the entrance to the attic.
“Oh, I actually think I understand now!” Italy claimed proudly, “The time before this.”
England remembered with Italy’s prompting. “Ah yes, for nearly the sixth time in a row we all died trying retrieve that key.”
“It must have sensed the key was causing us to fail somehow and tried to protect us from it...” Italy explained.
The room flashed white, and suddenly they were all back to the safe room, un-transparent. A little disoriented if nothing else.
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Prussia held onto the table for support, as the room spun briefly.
“So then, the mochi has our key? What are we supposed to do with it then?” Canada asked.
“Uh... Japan?” Italy noticed Japan still seemed to be in a trance. He shook Japan lightly but got no response “Japan?!” He was still in there...
Everyone around him suddenly vanished. Japan alone was left behind. THe white suddenly turned black, and Japan began to see visions. He only got a quick look at each scene, and he couldn’t hear anything, but something was about to start, or had already begun. ... Something ominous.
The darkness lifted and Japan saw Russia. He was arguing, with... everyone?
Russia fell behind the rest of the group, keeping his distance and avoiding conversation.
A... Phone call? Japan wasn’t certain how this was important. ... Until he heard a part of the conversation. ...Something was not right...
China talking to Russia in private about these things.
China taking Russia’s side, claiming to “know something he couldn’t share”.
Canada mention his suspicions only after something big appeared to have gone down. - How long had he known? Japan wondered.
*FLASH* - The scenes were beginning to move much faster now.
Prussia fell during a critical point during the fight. A costly move, since they had no idea what had happened, why, how, or what to do.
Italy took a single step away from the rest of the group.
*FLASH*Something with England and magic... There was only darkness here. He could only barely make out the voices, as he was slowly pulled back.