4/14

Valka Castle, midnight—It happened: we saw the Valka Castle ghost.  It started innocently enough—I was on a routine salvage request when I slipped up and took Oceana with me as my dive partner instead of GG. The map clue was obvious and we found the treasure almost immediately off the wreck of the Blood Lotus. With plenty of time on our hands, I suggested we go raid Valka Castle once more. Without GG, my salvage bag only carries 15 items, so I’ll have to be more discriminating, but I wanted to try a technique I’d heard about for screening out less valuable loot. Forget books and anything that doesn’t light up any of the symbols on the mutlisensor—they’re only plastic junk. Mysterious chests that are wood only are empty—go for things that are made of composite materials, wait for a lightning flash, etc.

Entering the Spiral Tower of the castle, the screen fades into a cutscene. “Y’know, I heard this place was haunted,” Oceana says. This is it—we’re finally going to meet the ghost!

I swear those eyes are following me...

As we pass through each doorway, the screen goes dark and a familiar dialog round fires up: “You go first.” “No, I insist—you first.” “Why, are you scared?” “I’m not scared, are you scared?” It’s like Abbott and Costello. Valka Castle at night is creepy enough. When you expect a ghost around any corner, it’s unbearable. The dark windows, the rotting shelves, tattered curtains, the mouldy paintings, even the gleam of small fish on the floor is eerie.

When the ghost appears, it’s a disappointment, inevitably. But it sure was fun to pretend that we were going to be scared by it. ‘Cause I was never really scared, you know. No way, not me.

Gaaaaaaaah!!

Well, now that the ghost is exposed, we can continue with our treasure hunting. My tactic of being picky  turns out to be a good one—we hauled up a ton of valuable loot, including a treasure chest worth 12,000. Our tally now comes to over 500,000 P. Halfway there!

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