With the recent release of the horror adventure Spirit Hunter: NG, Aksys Games has allowed us to share the localized novella of the Urashima Woman. Each day we will share a new chapter for readers to learn more about this haunting spirit, who is the first to be investigated in the game.
It should be noted that there might be some spoilers ahead so please read with that in mind.
Urashima Woman: Birth [Prologue]
Author: Hitomi Amamiya
On the walkway near Urashima Lake at Jingu Park, a young mother slowly pushes a baby stroller.
“Your teacher at preschool was so proud of you. She said you’re always on your best behavior. I’m so proud of you.”
“Ah, ahhh,” cooed the happy child.
“Oh, you’re in such a good mood today. Is it because you like how the stroller rocks back and forth?”
“Okay. Then how about I let it sway more like a boat? Here we go!”
As the stroller sways left to right, the baby waves the toy trumpet in its hand, showing off its newly grown baby teeth with its squeals.
“When your face gets all scrunched up to laugh, you look just like daddy.”
The mother takes her time on her evening stroll, looking as though nothing in the world could possibly matter.
Soon, a group of delinquent-looking youths comes walking in her direction while talking loudly.
“Hey, hey, I heard that at night you could hear a weird voice coming from the lake.”
“Huh? What kind of voice?”
“That’s just a cat, man.”
“Nah, but they say it isn’t one. Y’know that island-thingy in the middle of the lake?”
“Yeah, the giant rock, right?”
“Yeah, yeah. Apparently, the voice comes from there.”
“Huh. Wanna go check it out?”
“You wanna kill yourself?”
The group continues on their path towards the mother, laughing obnoxiously, and horsing around, paying not the slightest attention to their surroundings.
Nervous about the situation, the mother steers the stroller towards the edge of the pathway to avoid the group.
However, during their roughhousing, one of the boys gets shoved hard enough to barrel into the stroller.
“Whoa. Uh, sorry.”
The stroller tips over, but fortunately, the baby is unharmed, gazing out at the situation, confused.
“What the hell, man?”
“Haha, you’re such a lame-ass.”
“Ah, Miss, please forgive him, he’s really dumb.”
The group half-heartedly bows their heads in apology and then immediately resume their pushing and shoving as they walk alongside Urashima Lake.
“Geez, can you believe those kids…?” The mother mutters a rebuke under her breath, sharply watching the retreating kids.
To her utter shock surprise, they start picking up the fist-sized rocks from the pile that park maintenance had set aside and begun throwing them into the lake.
“It looks like fishes splashing!”
“But, I can’t reach that giant stone.”
“You gotta throw it lower! Skip it, like this!”
Security angrily rushes in, alerted by the commotion.
“What the hell are you kids doing?!”
As soon as the youths flee, the unpleasant buzz around the lake vanishes, but the mother’s irritation still lingers.
“I can’t believe the nerve of those people. I thought I was moving into a quiet town. I didn’t expect people like that to live around here…”
Looking down, she notices that the stroller’s sunshade has retracted completely. It must have been from the earlier impact.
The mother crouches down next to her baby while she fixes the sunshade. She looks towards the lake; its surface was mirroring the colors of the sunset.
“It seems like there’s a scary rumor about this lake… I wonder what that weird voice they were talking about could be… It’s a shame… I wanted to walk a little bit more, but I’d rather not bump into that group again. Let’s go home before it gets dark.”
Only a short distance away, the previously happy baby suddenly begins crying loudly.
The mother isn’t used to her baby crying in public. She hurriedly puts down the safety bar and peeks in to see her child’s face.
“What’s the matter?”
But the baby seemingly ignores the queries of the worried mother and continues wailing, waving its arms wildly. The sight of the child’s flailing arms clues the mother into the reason for the baby’s displeasure.
The trumpet. The baby’s toy trumpet is missing.
“Could it be?” The mother glances back towards the spot they were moments ago.
She spots something colorful and plastic lying on the walkway near Urashima Lake. It must have fallen when the young man had barreled into the stroller. The mother quickly scans the area for any suspicious people, flying balls, or anything that might endanger a baby.
“I’ll be right back,” she says as she brushes her hand against the marshmallowy cheek of her child. She jogs off to fetch the fallen trumpet.
It takes her less than 30 seconds to reach it.
The safety bar was securely in place, and looking back, she can clearly see the back of the stroller. The sound of her distraught child lets her know that it still there.
“I’m glad I noticed it so quickly!”
The mother scooped up the toy and brushed the sand off the plastic.
“Grandma bought it for you. It’s your favorite toy.”
That moment, she hears a disconcerting sound echoing from behind.
A wet, slimy, disgusting sound.
“What is that sound?”
The mother turns halfway, looking all around for the source of the unnerving sound. Try as she might, she can’t locate the source.
The area slowly becomes damp like a poolside at night, the wind now feeling lukewarm.
“…!? What’s going on!?”
The sudden change in atmosphere spurs the mother forward. The toy drops from her hand as she dashes to the stroller.
She can see the stroller ahead. Nothing has changed from when she last checked it mere moments ago.
She hadn’t noticed that the baby stopped crying.
“No! This can’t be happening!”
Her mind was filling rapidly with the worst scenario, mule falling off one foot, the mother desperately runs towards the baby.
“Are you there?”
“You have to be there still!”
She reaches the stroller, tripping over her own feet, to check the safety of her baby.
Her beloved child is nowhere to be seen.
Inexplicably, the seat where her baby had just been now dripping wet and covered in seaweed… almost as if it had just been dredged up from the seabed.
All around the stroller were damp trails that looked like someone had painted the ground with a wet brush.
The trails led towards Urashima Lake.
The mother clutches the baby stroller, sobbing in abject dismay, asking a dispassionate sky where her child has gone. A piercing cry echoes throughout the park.
That night, a woman stands on the shore of Urashima Lake, her belly protruding in a strange way. Her pale skin carries a glow, and her long, black hair clings to her body. Next to her is a baby stroller from a bygone era.
In her arms sits a baby, its face scrunching up in laughter.
The baby reaches forward, asking for something, waving both hands in front of the woman’s face.
The woman silently observes the baby fretting for a while before offering her finger in an attempt to pacify it.
The baby sucks at the white, pruney finger.
Immediately realizing that this isn’t the pacifier it wants, the baby spits out the woman’s finger. It squirms in the woman’s arms, wanting to say something, but unable to communicate with words.
As if she is responding to the baby’s complaints, the woman turns her body and sluggishly moves towards the large tree towering in the distance.
A rivulet of water trails behind the woman.
Once the woman reaches the large tree, she begins slowly rocking the fussy baby, left to right.
Gently, carefully. Slowly, slowly.
The baby’s eyes gradually turn glassy, enjoying the movement similar to a cradle. The woman sets the sleeping baby between the roots of the tree where the wind won’t disturb it and then sadly turns her body back towards Urashima Lake.
My sweet child.
Someone tell me…
Two days later, a small group of mysterious creatures floats near the giant rock at the center of Urashima Lake.
At first glance, they look like they might be turtles, and they allow themselves to be carried along with the gentle movement of the water.
Then, as if trying to join the creatures, a large shadow gently floats up from the bottom of the lake.
Its form is a giant, swollen mass by all the water it has taken on.
It looks like a human man.
The odd creatures swarm to the bloated body, perhaps thinking it’s food.
Laying nearby on a rock is a cell phone, likely belonging to the poor man. On its cracked screen, an e-mail is visible as if the impact of receiving the message had slapped and frozen the screen in place…
“Shit, this is really bad.”
“I think pretty soon…”
“I’m going to be killed by a creepy woman…”
Come back tomorrow for the next Chapter.
You can read our review of Spirit Hunter: NG now.
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