We join the cast on the deck of the boat, headed to the island.
Rudy and Hide are smoking, kicked out of the main cabin by Eva, who hates cigarettes. Understandable.
Hide says that every year, the Eva he knows vanishes and USHIROMIYA EVA sudden appears again, a short-tempered, angry woman who bears no resemblance to his wife. Rudy is kind of shocked to hear Hide describe her as ‘patient and gentle,’ but I’m not — her interactions with George and Hide have by and large been very loving, and it makes sense she’d revert back to who she was as a kid with the family. I think that happens to a lot of people for the worse.
They talk about the plan to get money from Krauss, and Hide says no wonder Eva is stressed. Rudy says it’s just like old times, and Hide asks if she and Krauss have always been rivals. Rudy is surprised to hear he doesn’t know they hate each other especially.
“She never talks about the past, even if I ask. She probably doesn’t want to remember.”
So yeah, Eva really fled the family.
Rudy says that Eva was smarter and more capable than Krauss in every way, and resented that he got better just because she was born a woman. Hide says it’s a shame Kinzo is so misogynistic, with what a huge effect is had on Eva’s life. Rudy doesn’t say anything.
We see a flashback to Eva telling Krauss she wants to go to college and getting the respose, ‘How conceited for a woman.’ Eva thinks about how her whole life has been spent working a hundred times harder than Krauss only to be told she’s worth less.
“Reckless efforts…?! Is it really that bizarre for me to say I want to go to college?!”
“Yes, it is bizarre. You undoubtably are the oldest daughter of the glorious Ushiromiya family. One day, you will support that family crest by being wed to the partner most valuable for Father. However, excessive learning is not what’s being asked of you. What you need are gentle feelings that will allow you to care for your husband, the ability to handle housework, and a humble demeanor that will reflect well on the master of your household. These are all skills you lack utterly. In the end, can you really call yourself a suitable daughter of the Ushiromiya Family? […] You’re still mannish even at your age, and you’ve never learned how to wear makeup in a way that will please men, much less how to cook and do housework. I hear you’ve even been learning how to brawl.”
R07’s social worker background is showing through again. I think most women have had conversations like this.
Even though you will marry and lose the Ushiromiya family name
I just want to say that Eva’s refusal to change her name speaks to me on a spiritual level. I didn’t change my name when I got married, and my family has not gotten over it. They write me checks I can’t cash, send mail to a person who doesn’t exist, and even made my cancer updates page out as Act Husbandsname. It’s like they didn’t bother discouraging it because they didn’t think I’d actually not change my name, and now they’re getting revenge. It’s crazy how much sexist people care about this bullshit.
Related: I just read Margaret Millar for the first time, and in the first Tom Aragon novel she had possibly the best exchange I’ve ever seen and I will be using going forward:
“Your wife didn’t take your name?”
“She already had one.”
This is all a little too close to home, is my point.
Kinzo comes in and starts sqawking about disinheriting her if she doesn’t act like a proper woman and Genji shoos her out before she makes it worse.
“*cough*cough*!! Why are my children so incompetent?! Krauss is lacking in dignity, Eva is always a stubborn tomboy!! I have no son who’s like a man, and not even a daughter who’s like a woman! Where did I go wrong raising them?! Why Genji, when and where did I go wrong?!!”
“…Master, you haven’t done anything wrong. Krauss-sama has grown into a sturdy son, and Eva-sama into a lovely daughter. You haven’t made any mistakes…”
Eva flees outside while Krauss and Genji calm Kinzo down. She wonders if her whole life has been reactionary, and if she can even claim to be doing what she actually wants. But she hears her childhood self promising not to give up.
For a time, I truly believed that my life had no purpose other than to be looked down upon by Nii-san.
This is indeed what happens when we treat women this way.
As she discusses the situation with her ambitious younger self, she realizes that if she has kids, and Krauss doesn’t, her kids will be head, which is in a way stealing the headship from Krauss.
“…Even though Father and Krauss ruined your life, you’re trying to push your dreams onto your son, ruining his life. Is that what you call being an adult?”
“G-George is a son I’m proud of, one who won’t embarrass himself no matter where he goes…! The dream I wasn’t granted might come true for George…! Jessica’s a delinquent in both her grades and her behavior. And she’s a woman! If only Jessica would step down, George would become the heir…!”
Even saying it was painful. Am I just forcing my own regrets onto George? It’s not like I have any right to look on Jessica with scorn. Wasn’t I just horrible for hitting her with the same words that had caused me so much suffering…?
…I understand. I understand… The desire to triumph over my brother is part of my own personal revenge. I can’t use George for that…
“…So I’ll take revenge myself. I have a plan to cheat Nii-san out of some of his money, with Rudolf and Rosa as my allies. I’ll surely be able to get back at him. In any case, I’m sure that Nii-san is embezzling Father’s assets…”
“…What a boring plan. Why don’t you just give up on that and cry yourself to sleep forever…? We will become the head of the Ushiromiya family. …Don’t try to confuse that dream. So believe me that you can definitely achieve it. Believe in my magic.”
“…If I believe, I wonder if any power will dwell in that magic.”
“It will. My magic can grant any wish with certainty.”
I wonder if this is an ‘every one has their own kind of faith in the unknown’ thing or if Bea is really encouraging Eva. I don’t think it’s the latter, but I like to think it is.
Eva realizes that if she can solve the epitaph’s riddle, no one will be able to stop her from being head. As she starts to think about it, we’re jostled out of the memory and to Kyrie saying they’re docking. Everyone hustles off the boat, but Hide hangs back with Eva.
Eva blurts out that she’s worried she’s ruined George’s life. Hide promises George is happy and well-adjusted. Hide asks if she’d been having nightmares about her childhood again, and she says yes. He does his best to comfort her.
“That was a dream. I’m with you now. If I grasp your hand like this, that dream’ll go away. Right? Look. I’m holdin’ tight.”
“…*giggle* That hurts… Thank you. I’m fine now… Let’s get off the boat.”
“…Have you… started to hate me…?”
“No way, no way. Wahahahahahaha. If I hated you after somethin’ like that, we wouldn’t have lasted three days. Come on, stand up, stand up. Let’s get off the boat.”
God this is so real.
Gohda comes down to check on them and they disembark. As she gets off the boat, she hears Welcome back. So the ‘younger self’ was Bea? Interesting.
“What am I living for……? What can I do to release myself from this delusion……?”
Hideyoshi heard her talking to herself. When Hideyoshi held on tightly to Eva’s shoulders, just by his firmness, he communicated that there was no need to say anything more…
On that incredibly depressing note, the scene breaks, and the clock moves to 2:00 PM.
On the shore, the kids chat about how long it’s been since they’ve seen Battler. They tease him about what he was like in middle school, and it’s very cute.
Bat notices that George and Shannon are acting very familiar, and he covertly asks Jess if anything is going on. She confirms it for him. Interesting, this is one of those details I never thought about before, that in past routes only we know about Shannon and George. I wonder if it will affect how Bat plays the game.
Jess asks Bat about his lovelife and he says he’s dated but never really been serious. He throws the question back at her and she says she likes someone but it’s not mutual. There’s an untranslatable bit about the way she talks being ‘rough’ and if she softened up a bit she’d catch more flies with the honey, to mix my metaphors. If I remember correctly Jess uses informal and masculine word endings, right? I wonder how you could translate that. A lot of slang? That would age so badly, though. Probably better they just let there be some awkward references to it. Anyway.
Bat works out that she’s into Kanon and gets serious for a second, telling her to be true to herself and confident in her decisions. Jess is all embarrassed.
I just went to check Bat and Jess’ ages and got spoiled on something. Fuck. Well, I’ll tell you what it was when we get there. It wasn’t Game-related, at least. I am a fool.
Well, what I was going to say was that I forget Bat and Jess are the same age; I think of him being 18 and her 16 but they’re both 18.
George, Maria, and Shannon rejoin them and everyone agrees they should start hanging out without their parents around since they’re old enough now. They agree to always be friends. Geez, does Jess end up with the gun this time or something?
“Uu-. A witch I know said it. Happiness won’t be granted unless everyone believes in it.”
I’ve been told it’s “without love it cannot be seen” this time.
That’s why… I want this pair of days to end… without anything weird happening, in peace and happiness… and calmly…
With that, meta!Bea breaks in to say it will neveeeeeeeer eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. I’ve finally prepared a new game. Come, let us begin this tale of tragedy! Come to me, winds, rain, typhoon! Cut this island off from the real world!! Throw Rokkenjima into another realm, into the spirit world, into a world of fantasy!”
Oh weird, we cut directly to Maria trying to find the marked rose in the rain. Score one for pacing.
Oh, we see Bea give Maria the umbrella this time. Interesting. Bea asks Maria if she tried searching for the rose with magic. Maria says yes, but it didn’t help.
“I think practicing your magic is a very good thing, but it might be a little too much for you with all this wind and rain. Allow me to lend you some special power. Concern for one’s disciples is also one of a teacher’s duties.”
Bea really is just a brilliantly written character from top to bottom.
She tries to find the rose magically, but has to deliver bad news: it was uprooted by all the wind. Maria refuses to accept this and demands Bea teach her how to revive it. Bea tells her she (Maria) is not skilled enough yet to do that. Maria starts to cry and Bea says fine, I’ll help you. And together they bring the rose back to life.
This is a great descriptive passage so I’ma quote the whole thing:
Around Maria, who was concentrating her power, her eyes tightly shut, small golden butterflies began to dance. Was this the manifestation of the magical power Maria held?
“Lost soul of the rose. Gather into one, and remember your form. Come, gather, remember…”
The glitter of the gold butterflies began to strengthen, and their numbers increased. Then, Beatrice raised a finger up to the skies, and they began to gather at the tip of that finger… This was the miracle of the golden magic…
The gold butterflies began to condense into a single dazzling grain of gold. It was a single glittering gold seed. It rode on the tip of Beatrice’s finger, budded into a golden sprout, and opened into a golden leaf. It then slowly fell from that fingertip, sank into the mud of the flower bed, and began to grow steadily…
Maria, who admired magic and the witch, really wanted to see this fantastical sight. However, as an apprentice, Maria was still not qualified to see it. No, she was probably afraid that, if she opened her eyes to look, the power that she had concentrated in her heart would be cut off, and the magic would be lost. Therefore, Beatrice, as the only one permitted to witness this golden miracle, was the only witch, the sole master of many miracles.
Then, the fully-grown rose bloomed, creating one golden flower. And when Beatrice poked it with her finger in just the right way, the gold-colored sparkle scattered, just as if a golden soap bubble had popped, and what remained was a single beautiful rose.
Bea doesn’t want Maria to lose sight of it again, so she marks the rose’s petals with a gold lattice. Maria opens her eyes and is ecstatic, thanking Bea from the bottom of her heart. Bea looks on at Maria’s joy and can’t help but smile.
…but. It’s time to stop being the Golden Witch, she thinks, and become the Endless Witch again. She hands the first envelope to Maria. Sweet Bea is the saddest. <333 Sadder than Archer? Omg. Can I ship Bea and Archer???? I need to think on this.
We then unceremoniously cut to Kinzo going MY BODY IS READY which is annoying. He dramatically flings a gold ring into the storm. It turns into a butterfly and flies to Beatrice. There it stops in midair… and someone appears.
…new furniture. It looks like young Genji. Well, maybe it is, in a way. Bea refers to him as Ronove.
“It has been quite some time since your last correspondence… Not for a single day have I, Ronove, forgotten that I serve you, Milady. I was more afraid that you had forgotten about me. After all, you can be quite forgetful.”
So this is furniture from Bea’s lifetime, then.
With an exaggerated yet elegant gesture, he bowed respectfully… and held out to Beatrice the Head’s Ring that he’d just caught.
“It is the Ushiromiya Family Head’s Ring, returned to you from Ushiromiya Kinzo. It is now once again in the possession of its Master.”
Bea says before they get started, he needs to meet someone, and they both become meta. meta!Battler is losing his fucking shit.
Lol, never has Bat been more of a reader expy than in this moment. R07 could have just written “(A/N: I know this is a fuckton of new people, bear with me plz)” and it wouldn’t have been clearer.
Incidentally, the PS translation of ‘seven ass nee-sans’ is ‘seven sexy ass babes’ which is veeeeery different and says some unique things about AUtranslation!Battler’s mental state. He’s into some hardcore shit.
Beatrice than sets up the biggest pun When-They-Cry-verse has ever seen, and tells Bat that Ronove is a demon contracted to serve her, which makes him a literal Devil’s Proof.
Ron and Bat banter a little. Incidentally, is Ron’s name a reference to anything? I’m terrified to Google anything now and will just address all my questions to you people.
Oh, one more thing occurs to me, though: Bea’s pun has a third meaning. Ronove is also a Devil’s Proof in that we/Bat can’t prove he wasn’t around last route. We now know of another person who was potentially on the island. Things that would have been a lot for school!Bea to pull off on her own just became a lot more possible, because no one can prove Ron wasn’t there helping.
Of course that I’ve put that together probably means I was supposed to and now Bea will say Ronove wasn’t around last routes and I’ll feel stupid again.
“…How boring were the days when I was trapped alone on this island, unable to regain my power and lacking anyone to talk to…”
Bea is so goddamn sad.
More to the point, though:
“…So Let me get this straight. Since you lost your power for a long time, you couldn’t summon [your servants]. And then, since your magic power has been gradually increasing, you’ve become able to summon more and more monsters?”
“It is as you say. You stopped a hair’s breadth before crumbling, but your heart is already wavering, and you are unable to deny that I am a witch. That wavering in your heart has been slowly restoring my power as a witch.”
Bat realizes his wavering has really been palpably helping Bea. She tells him to keep with his chess metaphor: the more pieces you lose, the easier is becomes for your opponent to take more pieces.
Bea ahaha.wavs, and we move to the first letter being read at dinner, explaining the epitaph and the challenge of the riddle.
As the adults freak out, Eva realizes something:
“…That’s right. If you interpret the contents literally, then this is a test from Father. The epitaph of the witch has been displayed in the hall for quite some time now, so that any one of us could solve it. There was plenty of notice. That means he was saying that the first person to solve it would be handed the inheritance along with all of his wealth, right…?”
…see? Our magic worked.
Natsuhi and Krauss are obviously not into that.
They decide to just go ask Kinzo directly if the letter is legit, and storm out, leaving the kids, Nanjo, and Kyrie at the table. The kids are disturbed and disgusted, Kyrie is aloof, and Nanjo is there.
Kyrie and Nanjo try to calm everyone down with some success. Kyrie stands up and walks over to Maria, and asks her who gave her the letter. Maria obviously says Bea, and then Kyrie asks her to tell them every detail and the scene breaks.
The clock moves to 8:00 PM. Ehh, let’s keep going.
Apparently Kinzo refused to answer any questions about the letter. That’s kind of odd. I feel like he’d be glad to just rave about Beatrice at them — imagining him clamming up is harder. They end up grilling Maria until she cries and finally send the kids away. We follow the cousins to the guest house.
The most likely answer is that our occult-loving Grandfather was playing around, handing the letter over to Maria, who shares the same hobby as he does, in such a dramatic way. Though, he failed to give any thought for what Maria would have to go through, making it a pretty shitty thing to do…
Jess looks pensive, and finally says she wonders if Maria really did meet Bea, not as another guest on the island, but as someone who was rumored to live in the forest.
We then jump over to the adults. They’re able to agree on two things: Kinzo’s silence is as good as endorsement of the letter, and that one of the servants gave it to Maria.
“…A mysterious 19th person as a visitor. Sounds pretty interestin’, just like a mystery novel. Normally, in that kind of story, it’s a safe bet that the person doesn’t exist, that one of us 18 would be fakin’ it.”
Damn you Ryukishi.
Rosa finally floats that there’s possibly a 19th person on the island gunning for the inheritance, and everyone has to acknowledge openly that Kinzo probably had a mistress named Beatrice and it could be her or her child.
“Mom was totally paranoid in her last years. She’d sometimes suddenly start making a fuss, asking the servants to start looking for Dad immediately because of some urgent situation.”
[…] “…But [he was always found] some place where the servants had already looked. We never knew where Father had gone. Even at that time, Grandfather was famous for his occult inclinations, so some of the servants exaggerated, saying that he might have turned into butterflies and danced around the rose garden.”
“So in short, Father frequently disappeared, and no one knew where he went.”
“Yeah. Since we couldn’t find him no matter how much we looked inside the mansion, we got more and more sure that Dad might’ve been somewhere outside. And if you tie that in with the legend of the witch, you get a theory like this: Father actually built a hidden mansion somewhere in the forest, inside of which a mistress by the name of Beatrice lived, and he sometimes went to see her.”
Idk how but R07 is managing to make info we already knew sound so damn creepy.
Kyrie, who had been listening the whole time with her eyes closed, spoke to no one in particular.
Yeah, I’ll bet.
[Rudolf] “Quit it, Aniki. So if everything we’re thinking’s true, then she should be joining in on Dad’s inheritance problem with her head held high. After all, there’s a good chance their love was mutual, unlike with Mom. Even if she knows she’s his mistress, she might also be proud to be his true wife.”
[Natsuhi] “…That is an insult to Mother.”
“Yeah, sorry. However, everyone knows that it was a political marriage decided on by the elders among his relatives. Because of that, it definitely wouldn’t be strange for Dad to have a mistress.”
Stop justifying how much of an ass you are, Rudy.
Natsuhi turned red, her fist quivering. She had also come into the Ushiromiya register due to complicated circumstances. Those who knew that understood more or less why she was so angry for the sake of Kinzo’s dead wife.
Oh hey there, Natsuhi’s Mysterious Past. Miss you, hope we meet again soon.
They finally realize the weirdest part of all this, which is that Beatrice would know the solution to her own riddle and have access to her own gold. Why would she challenge them to a game she’s already won?
Kyrie points out that they’re all thinking about money, but if what Bea really wants is legitimacy in the form of the headship, winning a game they’ve all agreed on tacitly gives her that. They realize that if Bea offered to trade them a Scrooge McDuck hoard of gold for the headship, they’d all do it except maybe Natsuhi and really she’d just go along with Krauss.
Kyrie puts it plainly: the three younger siblings have nothing to lose, and literal tons of gold to gain, by supporting Beatrice if she wants the headship. But Kyrie wonders why she wouldn’t just try to buy the headship outright instead of setting up this elaborate game. The only explanation she can come up with is arrogance.
Eva resolves to take her challenge, and the scene ends.
So! Eva’s route. I like Eva quite a bit, but am not sure she’ll be any better with the gun than Rosa.