It was late in the afternoon, when two best friends, Jeyuu and Ekia, both 10 years old, were on their way home from a field trip. They had to pass through a forest because there was an event in town and they can’t just make their way back to their hometown.
Meanwhile, they got tired and hungry and stopped by a mansion. It was a huge mansion and they got curious, so they went in to see if there’s food.
But as they entered the room, there was a strong wind that separated both of them. Jeyuu was on the left side of the mansion while Ekia was on the right. They couldn’t find each other, but they explored the whole mansion for an exit, since the door towards outside was locked.
“I hope Ekia is alright.” Jeyuu said to himself as he searched different rooms for any key or doorway that might lead to the outside world. But something felt different as time went by.
Jeyuu saw a bunch of skulls and dead, old bodies along some of the corridors, which frightened him. “This is…creepy. Does that mean that this is some sort of a ghost house? I gotta find Ekia and get ourselves out of—”
Suddenly, he felt a burning feeling in his chest. He felt as if his clothes were getting tighter, and his voice was getting hoarse as he called out Ekia’s name in the hopes of finding her.
Meanwhile, Ekia was also looking for Jeyuu and getting a strange feeling within her.
“W-what is this…feeling…like I’m having a fever…”
And just like Jeyuu, her clothes also seem to become smaller and her hair started growing longer too.
Time passed by and finally, the two, though separated, realized what was going on around the mansion.
“We’re…growing up…no way!”
A while back, they were warned by their school teacher about ‘compression rooms’ around Enidouka, which was developed as a ‘safer’ alternative than forced-EVS machines, but much more expensive. In these rooms, children are turned into adults by just staying there and breathing the atmosphere there and grown-ups age until they die. Even just the thought of it was frightening.
“I really have to find Ekia,” said Jeyuu, as he notices how his body had changed a lot through all that searching. “Maybe she’s grown up too, like me.”
Jeyuu then finds a metal door, opens it, and finds a long staircase, which seems to be the exit. He then hurriedly runs to it. However, he also notices someone panting and running near him, like the person is on the next room.
“Ekia! Is that you? Answer me?”
“It’s me, Jeyuu! You might not recognize me by my voice, because I’ve grown up. I assume you’re a grown up too, right?”
“Yeah, and I’m glad that the exit we found were connected to each other. Alright, let’s run towards the exit before this whole compression room mansion makes us even older!”
And so, Jeyuu and Ekia ran as fast as they can. Jeyuu took off his shirt so he can breathe properly, and Ekia took her tops off as well, but wrapped them around her chest, since she had already become a lady.
With just a few meters towards the exit, Jeyuu felt pain within his chest, and so did Ekia.
But the two still pursued the path and finally broke free from the suffocating mansion. They hugged each other as soon as they saw each other come out from the exit.
After that, they hurriedly ran home and told their parents of what happened. And on the next day, the mansion was surrounded by Enidoukan police and arrested the owner and operator.
Later on, Jeyuu and Ekia received counseling and were entitled to special education for EVS victims. And as they went through the special education, they started developing feeling for each other, as more than friends.
They were later interviewed by some Enidoukan news media, and one of their statements was:
“Don’t be like Hansel and Gretel, or you’ll end up becoming the witch’s dinner.”