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One day later

Chris tried to recreate the events that lead to Midnight Pumpkin playing with the cat, but all of them were in vain. He did the same things he did before but none of them worked.

Still, he did not stop trying it.

-Ok, one more time.

Same place from the last file, starting on the school's grounds at night. He went to behind the gym and there wasn't anything there. He loaded again and went to it again, but got the same result.

-*Hmm* This is starting to get pointless.

He went into the school building. The character walks in the direction of where the mini-game starts and Midnight Pumpkin appears from the corridors, chasing the player. Without moving, he lets himself die in the hands of the killer, that grins satisfied. [Game Over].

It stills works perfectly. Who knows, maybe it was just a glitch. Maybe it wasn't something that you could do it again. One time only accomplishment, the thing you could talk with your friends but nobody would believe it without seeing it.

(But, if that were true, then why it showed another expression?)

True, even a glitch could only change some settings in the game, but it wouldn't create something new in the game. After all the encounters in the different save files, Chris hadn't seen Midnight Pumpkin make that expression even once. Even though he couldn't see its eyes, the gap in the mouth made it clear an expression of sadness in the killer.

Chris didn't like that expression, the same expression he knows it well.

(It must be a secret character or something...)

He wanted to know more about it but, there wasn't any backstory for the killer in the game, so there wasn't any clue to where he could start looking for.

(Unless...!)

-I see! Maybe it's that.

He exits the save file and went to the menu screen.

(Even if I can't find it again, I could try it out in others files!)

The cursor highlights the option [New Game]. With confidence, Chris press "Enter".

[][][][]

Dark alleys of the city.

The character runs away, heavy breathing on each step. There are three options showing [Left - Middle - Right]. A timer was running out. 10, 9, 8. He went [Left]. Same options, timer running. 7, 6, 5. [Middle]. There was nowhere to run. He went back. 4, 3, 2. He tried to go [Right], but...1, 0. The timer was off.

The killer finds him. It slashed him down with its scythe. Blood on the screen. [Game Over].

-*Phew* Ok, now I can [Skip] this.

The mini-game this time was a tag. All you need to do was run faster than the opponent while doing some quick-time events before the timer reaches zero. If you managed to out-speed it, you win and saves the heroine. If you are tagged or leads the opponent to the heroine, you lose.


Like always, the AI learned from your previous attempts and makes the game more difficult for you, like changing a key for the quick time events or obstructing a path you once passed.

From all the others mini-games, this one was the easiest of the bunch, since you only needed to react faster to clear it, different from the hide-and-seek where the killer would know where you based on where you hide before.
But, Chris wasn't planning on passing in the challenger way. He clicks skip and the cutscene shows.

The character trips into something while running. The killers stepped on his back and raised his scythe over the head. When he was slowly bringing it down, a shot was fired, making the killer retreat and the heroines comes to your rescue. She raised her love meter on the character's menu.

Different from the last time, Chris didn't care much about it. He re-loaded the file to before the mini-game started. The character was in front of the alley.

-Now, where should you be...?

The character looks around. Empty streets, caused by the fear of being attacked by Midnight Pumpkin. Unlike last time in the school, the streets only had alleys where you could enter or automatically go home if you leave the area, resulting in the heroine's death.

-Welp, time to explore.

The character goes into one alley next to the one he should have entered. It was a dead end, with trash cans on it. Chris thought that similar to the gym, Midnight Pumpkin would be here since there wasn't any event that occurred on it.

His theory quickly fell apart. On all the alleys he could enter, there was none which he had found the killer. Now, there was no clue on how he could encounter it without being an event.

The boy sighs.

-Guess it was just a glitch, huh...

Chris boredly said. The character was in the deeps of an alley, another dead end, but this one had an item you needed to pick in order to make one heroine interested in you. Since he was already here, he decided to get it before leaving.

The game displayed the following [You got Grandell, the Bear] next to an image of a fluffy animal bear.

The character moved to an alley from where you could enter the backstreet. Backstreets were one long-way corridor without loading screens, where you could invite a heroine to a date. Chris choose this instead of going back from the alleys because of the no-loading area straight up to the streets.

Stores of food and clothes are displayed on each side of the backstreet. It wasn't popular, but the folks in the neighborhood loved it and it was always full of people, or so the game said.


Usually, you would ask a heroine to go with you and pass some time here, where you both would fall more in love with each other. But, without anyone, it just looked like a ghost town.

-*Hmm*?

But, it wasn't empty.

-T-there it is!

Chris shouted in shock. After all, the one he thought it would be just a one-time glitch was there: Midnight Pumpkin. And it was looking at the window of a clothing's store.

(I-I-I can't believe it! It happened again!)

Finally, he managed to meet the killer without being inside one event. But, something bothers him.

(Wait, why the locations were different? This is a section which the player visits often and, even if there wasn't anybody at night, he could still come to get achievements.)

He looks again at Midnight Pumpkin.

(Why did you choose this place?)

Last time, behind the gym, was just a place nobody would go, just a section in the game to be part of the open-world. But the backstreet was one of the most popular sections in the game for dates.

(If it wanted to be alone, why would it choose to stay in this place?)

All questions to be answered, but Chris had something to focus right now.

(How do I approach it?)

It would kill him the moment Midnight Pumpkin saw him, so he couldn't just go straight up to it. He tried to think of a way to approach it without triggering his character's death.

(Ok, first, I save.)

He wouldn't miss out this chance again. It took Chris by surprise before, but now was the time for him to figure out if this was a glitch or not, choosing to overwrite the old save file. After done it, he made the character slowly walks behind the Midnight Pumpkin's back.

(Steady, steady...)

Chris was more concentrated than the time he did the mini-games.

(C'mon, just a bit more...)

The character was approaching the Midnight Pumpkin's back while it continues to see the clothing's store window.

(Closer, closer....!)

And then, something happened. When he got close enough to it, a screen asking [Would you like to give a gift?] appeared.

(N-No way!)

This could only happen to the heroines, a system only made to help the player conquer the girl gifting them when she wanted something very specific. There was no NPC that had that system, the most they had was just to deliver items to gain money working. But the option to give a gift was only made for the heroines.

-So then, why does it...

[!!!]

The marks appear on its head. It turned around and saw the player. It quickly raised it's scythe and slashed it down on him. [Game Over]. But that didn't even pass inside his mind right now: The only thing Chris could do was think of who really was Midnight Pumpkin.

(Huh, what am I doing?!)

Escaping his trance, he quickly re-loaded his save file and his character appeared again in the street. Looking around, Chris found Midnight Pumpkin.

(There!)

It was walking towards the other end of the street, facing it's back to Chris. Not missing this chance, the character ran towards Midnight Pumpkin. Gotten closer enough, the game displayed [Would you like to give a gift?]

(Now!)

Choosing [Yes], Chris selected the only item in his inventory, [Grandell, the bear].

[!!!]

Feeling something weird, the killer turns around and face Chris's character. It tried to swing down its scythe but it stopped the moment it was over its pumpkin's head. The killer tried many times to swing it down, but the result was the same.

And Chris was smiling on his side.

-*Hahaha*! What about it, huh?! You can't kill me while you are receiving a present, can you?!

In the game, the interactions between the character and the heroines were like a sacred ritual. Even if the heroines were going to kill you, the would immediately stop if you gave them a present. It may sound crazy, but this system can save the player's life many times in the game.

Leading to Chris having full confidence in this method.

-Now, let's talk busi-

[Game Over] displayed on the screen. Chris froze. While he was thinking of how good his plan was, he forgot one thing: the heroine could refuse the gift.

-Dammit!!

Once again, he quickly re-loaded the game to the same location as before, but now...

-Wait a minute, why are you running?!

The killer, the most fearsome enemy in the game, scarier than any heroine, was now running away from its own "victim". Following its direction, it would exit the backstreet area.

-As if I would let it go away!

Chris also started to run, chasing Midnight Pumpkin.

The Backstreet wasn't a very long line, it was just a small district of shopping for the town folks. Altho it was just data inside the game, this, along with the fact that the killer was ahead, would lead to just one conclusion.

-Dammit! Where are you?!

Seen the killer going to the next area, the streets, Chris also followed it, but, after he waited for the leading screen to complete, he couldn't find Midnight Pumpkin anymore.

What was left in the game was the unmoving character, followed by the frustrated player who lost what he wanted.

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