Welcome to the true story of the Villareal family of Windenburg, a family that Definitely Does Not Have Any Secrets.
(Ok, ok, so this story is only 82.81% true. I took screenshots as I was playing for fun, letting the game drive the plot, then took some pick-up shots to fill in the gaps.)
Night had fallen on the Von Haunt Estate, and Lord Bernard had just come upon an extremely unsettling scene.
“You!” gasped the ghost of Bernard. “What are you— Unhand my portrait, you rampallian! Get down from there this instant!”
Max hastily let go of Bernard’s portrait and climbed down.
“Shut up, old man!” he yelled, but it was too late. Bernard knew exactly what Max was trying to do.
“You were going to burn my portrait, weren’t you?” He blew up at the child. “That’s it! I’m calling your father! And yes—I know who you are! I checked the museum registration!”
“You wouldn’t. You’re bluffing.” Max scrunched up his face with as much animosity as a child could muster.
But Bernard wasn’t bluffing.
Jacques Villareal was contacted and immediately summoned. Bernard explained that he had caught Max trying to burn his portrait, and Jacques shook his head in disappointment.
“I can’t believe you’ve done this,” said his father in a low, disgusted voice. “You’ve ruined everything.”
It was true. Jacques would have to abandon his own plans of setting fire to this cherished tourist destination. He would now look suspicious if the Von Haunt Estate burnt down, given that Max was caught attempting the same thing.
Plum. This heist would’ve been his greatest moneymaker, if only his damn kid hadn’t ruined it. It was time to kiss his dreams of early retirement goodbye.
Meanwhile, Max was glaring at his father, studying his face,
-when he suddenly wrung his hands. “I’m so sorry, Dad. It won’t happen again. I promise I’ll never get caught again.”
Jacques sighed. “Fine,” he said. “We’ve learned our lesson. Next time, this won’t happen.”
“Of course, Dad,” said Max. His mouth twitched for a brief second.
“Hold on,” said a voice behind them. “There’s not going to be a next time for either of you.”
“What?” Jacques whirled around.
“You’re banned from the estate,” said Bernard.
“But just my son, right?” said Jacques, panicking. This was his favorite establishment! “I can still come here to cosplay and play chess, right?”
“No. Both of you are banned. Permanently.” Bernard was adamant.
Jacques froze, then flared, pulling himself up to his full height.
“Do you even know who I am and what I’m capable of?”
Bernard raised his eyebrows. “Are you trying to threaten an immortal 120-year-old ghost infamous for his foul temper?”
Jacques bared his teeth. “I’ll make you regret this, phantom.”
“You don’t scare me, fopdoodle.” Bernard smiled. “I’ll show you scary.”
The ghost lunged forward, eyes wild, spittle flying out of his mouth.
“I will not allow you or your hell-born babe to defile these premises and potentially endanger others here ever again! You are hereby permanently banned from this cherished tourist destination!”
Jacques recoiled and stayed quiet.
Max watched the ghost in awe. Bernard was a formidable foe, indeed. It was now Max: 1, Bernard: 1, but Max knew this was far from over.
Meanwhile, Jacques couldn’t believe what had just happened. As he stood there, cowed by a ghost and banned from his favorite establishment because of his kid, he realized something. His children were a liability.
As long as his kids existed, he would never achieve true happiness. A heinous thought crossed his heinous mind for the second time tonight.
Jacques knew exactly what he had to do.