Chapter 32 – Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
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20, October, Year 2021

19:20, No Good Apartment

 

...

Yeah...

I am lost...

This is truly the next level of storytelling here. Not only does it does not make any sense, but it is also too hard for me to answer her. Well, at least scientifically anyway.

This story is, after all, in a territory of dark science. It was a thing that science couldn't fully understand yet.

Hmm...

It looks like my plan has to be postponed, at least for now.

This time, I should try to understand her story first. Unlike her previous problems, this question of LittleSnow has a major difference.

First of all, most of the stories aren't her own.

Previously, her questions almost always come from her own experience and fantasy. But this question doesn't. It also contains thoughts and deceptions of others.

This means I couldn't approach this question as always.

Hmm...

I look through the story that LittleSnow has sent in the chat again.

The story here could be roughly divided into 2 parts. The first is when she was "investigating" the rumor with her friends. The other is her own "experience" in the night.

Either of these is very difficult to understand, but the first is significantly harder.

Why?

Because not only would it contain LittleSnow's lie—her Chuunibyou fantasy, there would also be original tellers' falsehood mixes in.

To understand this lie within a lie... is really difficult.

That is why I probably should focus on the latter part first. If I could understand this part then, the other part would be somewhat easier.

Isn't that right?

Wrong.

That is a trap that only a beginner would fall in. As a (self-proclaimed) professional VTuber, I am better than that.

Why?

The second part also contains lies from the others, the never-ending corridor part.

This means one couldn't understand this part without understanding that part first.

...

This is really tricky, but it isn't impossible.

First of all, this never-ending corridor looks like a fake tale that someone just invents to scare others. A late-night horror story of some sort.

But... why?

Every lie always has a purpose.

Like when parents told their children not to wander around at night because they would get abducted by a witch, a ghost, or a monster. The purpose is to scare the children into staying in their house.

But what is the purpose of this tale then?

The key to solving all the mysteries is to understand the purpose of this tale.

I read through all the first part again and then I notice something very noteworthy.

The story doesn't make sense!

...

Well… I guess it really isn’t trying to make sense in the first place. It is a lie, after all.

But that is not what I want to say.

What I want to say is... this story isn't making any sense, even as a lie!

Just look at the story.

The first story that LittleSnow tells is about one upper-class woman. It seems like she was running in a corridor with something followed behind at night. She was terrified by that and just ran and ran.

And then?

Then, she had met with a shadow in her classroom and passed out.

And the footstep that was following her? Nothing. The story ended just like that.

How is this making any sense for anybody?

Why did you include the footstep part if you are going to discard it in the end?

Why!?

...

I have found it.

This part is the actual lie. A lie within a lie. A deception mixes in falsehood. An illusion clouds within magic.

After finding the key, the rest is easy. I give the story another quick read and finally, I could understand everything.

In all the witnesses of this story, there is one person who lies. They deceive my innocent viewers with a straight-up lie to slip into the role of victim.

But for what purpose?

The answer is already in the story!

The first person mysteriously lost their coat and then got followed around at night.

This could only mean one thing…

It is a stalker.

It is a stalker, isn't it?

That girl has a hardcore stalker who stalked her from behind that night. They even stole her coat when she wasn’t looking!

...

As for the “never-ending” corridor part...

This tale is probably created by the other kids who just want something unusual to happen in their school life.

But this tale somehow got caught in the grand scheme of some evil mastermind! They take advantage of the innocent of others to mix in their own agenda. Like hiding a leaf in a forest, they are using fright to hide fear.

Hmm…

Somehow this story suddenly turns into something really horrifying, isn't it?

The problem is now my viewers also take part in it…

Well.

I should have these children get out of there for now.

It might get dangerous, after all.

Who knows if this dangerous individual is still in their vicinity or not?

But how should I tell them to get out…?

Hmm… No!

It is then that I notice another thing. The name of the "never-ending" corridor... Who is the one that named it?

It is probably LittleSnow and her friends, right?

But why would she name it like that?

Yes, it is as I said before. This tale also has another lie mixed in.

LittleSnow’s Chuunibyou fantasy.

The method to solve it already lies in its name!

 

 


20, Month Fall-Amberine, Year Elizabeth 402

06:25, Elizabeth Magic Academy

 

Mary looked at the figure on the tablet’s screen in awe. After all, this was the first time she looked at him deciphering the question in real-time. Not only that, but it was also the trouble that she was experiencing herself.

Mary knew that many would kill for just a glimpse of a real sage. But she was getting more than that. The question she stumped was getting solved by him. A real sage.

"What's now?" she whispered to Wilson, who was standing close to her. "This is a little long, isn't it?"

It was almost 10 minutes after Alice had sent the question. After that, sage Khun closed his eyes and never spoke again.

"..." Wilson was also a little perplexed by the fact that sage Khun seemed to be silent for a long time. But unlike Mary, his trust in sage was firm.

"It is probably because of us." he said after some consideration.

"Us?"

"Yes," Wilson responded. "If sage Khun is here in person, he would probably solve it with but a single glance for sure. But that isn't the case."

He shook his head and then said. "Our vision and insight are limited. Even the three of us combined would probably be but a hundredth, no, a thousandth of him. This means sage Khun has to work with our limited amount of clues to solve this problem."

"That's..." Mary couldn't help but nod. "Then… But what if he couldn't solve it? If we provide insufficient information, he couldn't possibly solve it, right?"

"..." Wilson was at a loss for word this time. And that fact also got to him. His face became hardened, and he looked at the figure in tablet seriously one more time. Sage Khun still closed his eyes, as if he was still thinking about something.

"No. He will solve it." Alice said, interrupting the duo. Unlike the two, her trust in sage Khun was much, much stronger. There was no doubt in her clear blue eyes at all. They were filled with pure faith and belief.

"..." Mary and Wilson were silent. They looked at the bleak corridor one more time and shifted their gaze back at the tablet as if praying that sage Khun would finish his reasoning soon.

It was then sage Khun opened his golden eyes. He looked cool as if the question wasn't a problem for him at all.

"I have come to understand your question now, LittleSnow," he said while shaking his head slightly. "Lies and falsehoods are mixing in this tale. That was why you all are wandering around in the dark without ever understanding the truth."

"Are you saying that someone is lying, great sage?" Alice asked. The others also nodded their head, interested.

"Hmm… Let's start by clarifying something first." sage Khun didn't answer but asked a question first. "So, are you investigating this story, right now?"

"Yes, sage." Alice nodded, even if the other person couldn't see it. "And unfortunately, we also got caught in this bizarre situation. We are trapped in the never-ending corridor for at least 30 minutes now."

"But you didn't hear any footstep, right?" asked the sage. “There is no one following you from behind, right?”

"...! T—That’s...” Alice stumbled. “Yes, sage."

“There are 2 ongoing stories right now—the footstep from behind, and the never-ending corridor.” sage Khun said, his voice cool. “Trying to solve one of them or combining them won’t do you any good. Rather it will make you more confused like you are now.”

“They are 2 stories…!” Alice exclaimed, shocked. She turned back and look at her friends, but they also looked at her speechless. They didn’t have a clue either.

“It is understandable. After all, someone is misleading you.” sage Khun shook his head. “They want to mix in with the other victims, eliminating any suspicious toward them.”

“Someone… is lying?”

“Yes.”

“Who are they, sage?” Alice asked. The other two kids also had the same question in their minds.

“For now, you should focus on getting out off there first.” sage Khun said while shaking his head. “This individual is very dangerous. They might try to do something.”

“Okay, sage.” Alice nodded, accepting his suggestion. Then she asked. “But how could we escape from here, great sage?”

Of course, they had tried to escape before. In the time they waited for his answer, the group didn’t just stand there. They tried walking around in the corridor. But no matter where or how long they walked, they always ended up here—the place where they started.

“From the stories you told before, simply waiting until it end would, of course, be one of the solutions.” he said.

“That is true.” Alice agreed. “But that would probably take too long, right, sage?”

“It would take at least some time, yes.” sage Khun nodded his head.

“Then, what should we do?”

“If the premise of this story is the never-ending corridor then, the way to exit it is very obvious.” sage Khun said.

“What is it, great sage?” Alice asked. Not only her, Wilson, and Mary stopped looking around at that instant and they all focused on the tablet.

“You just have to not follow the corridor. For example… yes," he said. His voice was flat as if he was just talking about the weather. But the content of his words really opened the eyes of the listeners.

"How about... going out through the window?”

“W—Window!?”

“Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.” sage Khun said coolly. “If there are no exit, you could just simply create one yourself.”

 

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