Last time, a spoiled family gathers for a magic murdergame… I think.
The kids hang out in the guest house until dinner, lazing around since it’s raining so hard. When Kanon comes to get them for dinner, he asks where Maria is. They say they thought she was in the main house. Uh-oh.
Over at the main house, Rosa is waking from a nap to find it pouring rain.
Hmm. I wonder if this just means the stress over the siblings fighting about money, or something more supernatural.
Rosa knew her daughter’s nature well. She had always known. Maria was stubbornly honest, and if she was ordered to find something that didn’t exist, she would look forever and ever.
Rosa starts to freak out, chastising herself for losing control of my emotions. That’s a mild way to put it.
Even though she had known about that simple honesty better than anyone, she had once again lost control of her emotions and done such a horrible thing!!
Rosa runs outside, screaming for her daughter.
The kids are also worried and decide to go look for her.
Maria-chan is sometimes really stubborn, and too straightforward.
TBH if this isn’t a purposeful depiction of autism I’ll be kind of shocked.
Mercifully, when the kids get there, Bat finds her.
Her face, which had turned bright red from her crying her eyes out, was dirtied with water and mud. It was a truly pitiful sight.
At least she’s okay, I was starting to worry she’d be the first casualty.
Battler is relieved to see she has an umbrella, likely from the purse she always keeps with her, so she’s relatively dry.
Thank goodness. Seriously, thank goodness.
Batty’s a good dude.
Rosa tells her it’s okay to come inside; they’ll look together once the weather gets better.
“I’m sorry…… I’m sorry for being such a bad mother………”
To George’s credit, he doesn’t immediately jump in to tell her no it’s totally normal to repeatedly slap a child irritating you, he just says they should get inside quickly. And I do feel a bit of pity for Rosa.
Jess says it was smart of her to pack an umbrella, and Maria says she didn’t — Beatrice gave it to her. Yes, I figured as much. They all just kind of let it go since Maria seems happier now.
We jump over to Krauss once again trying to get Kinzo down for a meal. Kinzo is playing chess with Nanjo and refuses to acknowledge him. When Nanjo says they should go down, Kinzo tells him to go alone, since this will be their last night of playing before the world ends. I’m willing to believe Beatrice can synthesize umbrellas, but this seems a bit melodramatic, even for Kinzo.
Kinzo says that he’ll only leave if Beatrice is resurrected or he’s chosen as a sacrifice.
At dinner, Rosa says she wants to thank whoever lent Maria the umbrella, but everyone denies having done it, and they all seem to have alibis. Everyone starts to get kind of weirded out, and Rosa swears she just wants to thank whoever it was — no hard feelings whatsoever. Maria insists again it was Beatrice, and everyone laughs. Bat leans over to Jess and asks if this kind of prank is typical of Maria.
“No way. She’s always been frank and serious. She’s the sort who’d believe any joke, even ones normal people could instantly tell were lies. I’ve never even heard of her cracking a joke.”
Rosa seems very disheartened by the whole thing, wondering why everything with her family has to be an ordeal. Bat and Jess are just freaked out.
The servants chat about it uneasily until Gohda comes and tells them to get back to work, and it’s clear he’s unliked by the other servants. Kanon and Genji step aside to chat.
“…Genji-sama. Did Beatrice-sama really… return?”
“…I don’t know.”
“…I will inform the Master.”
“That is not necessary. If she has truly returned, she will eventually appear before the Master of her own accord. Furthermore, she is a fickle person. It would be pointless to report to the Master only to find that she does not appear…”
“…I wonder if this means that the Master’s ceremony has already begun.”
“…Probably. However, that has nothing to do with furniture like us. We must return the favor that we received from the Master… until our final moments.”
“…Yes. That is furniture’s… duty.”
Dun dun duuuuun.
Kanon looks outside and feels like he’s peering into the witch’s domain, so he quickly looks away.
Actually, I wonder if perhaps the servants are spirits or something? That would explain the repeated ‘furniture’ comments none of them seem bothered by, plus Genji’s lack of aging and how long they’ve been together and Kinzo and Genji’s
sexcapades devotion to each other.
This is actually another interesting way in which Umineko is deviating from Higurashi — the supernatural elements are much more part of the story instead of being shadows in the background. Umineko is being open about being a ghost story, while Higurashi waited until literally the last possible second to make its position clear.
The mood around dinner is dour to the last, and it’s mostly silent. When it’s over, Maria excitedly gets up and pulls something odd out of her purse. It’s an envelope.
On the front of the envelope, the Ushiromiya family crest – the One-winged Eagle – was done in gold leaf. Furthermore, the fact that it was sealed with dark-red wax made it clear that this was not something that Maria could have brought as a prank.
“I got it from Beatrice when she gave me the umbrella. She told me to read it to everyone after the meal was over! I’m the witch’s <Me-me-messenger>!”
Hmm. Nothing about a messenger in the epitaph, so the Meaningful Tags aren’t about that specifically.
Apparently the envelope and crest used to imprint the wax seal are things only Kinzo would have has access to. Krauss points out it’d be possible for someone to dummy up a seal based on letters they’d received from Kinzo in the past. Finally, they tell Maria to just read it.
The words came out of Maria’s mouth, but for some reason it felt like her voice was different than usual.
The letter is as follows:
Welcome to Rokkenjima, members of the Ushiromiya family.
I am Beatrice, the alchemist for this family employed by Kinzo-sama himself.
I have served him for many years in accordance with our contract, but on this day, Kinzo-sama has announced the final suspension of that contract. Therefore, I ask that you acknowledge my resignation from the position of family alchemist from this day forth.
And now, there is one part of the contract that must be explained to all present.
I, Beatrice, lent Kinzo-sama a vast quantity of gold under certain terms. One of these terms specifies that all the gold is to be returned to me upon the termination of the contract.
Furthermore, I am to receive everything of the Ushiromiya family as interest.
After hearing this, you may feel as though Kinzo-sama has been savagely ruthless.
However, Kinzo-sama did append a special clause to the contract so that you would have a chance to preserve your wealth and honor.
If and only if that special clause is fulfilled, I will loose my rights to the gold and the interest for all eternity.
Special Clause: Beatrice retains the right to collect the gold and accumulated interest upon the termination of the contract.
However, if someone is able to discover the hidden gold of this contract, Beatrice must abandon these rights for all time.
The collection of the interest will proceed shortly, but if any one of you fulfills the terms of this special clause, I shall return everything, including the portion that has already been collected.
Furthermore, as the first step in this collection of Kinzo-sama’s debt, I have taken possession of the Ushiromiya family “Head’s Ring”, which signifies the passage of the Ushiromiya family headship from one individual to another.
I ask that you confirm this for yourselves by examining the imprint on the wax seal.
Kinzo-sama has already publicly displayed the location of the hidden gold within the epitaph under my portrait.
The rules apply equally to all who can read the epitaph. If you discover the gold, I shall return everything to you.
Tonight, I ask that you enjoy your battle of wits with Kinzo-sama to the fullest. I sincerely pray that this night will be both intellectual and elegant.
— Beatrice the Golden
Obviously everyone starts freaking out. They seem to conclude Beatrice must actually be some hitherto unknown adviser or benefactor of Kinzo, coming to collect their final debt in absurd fashion.
The adults all run up to Kinzo’s study and bang on the door, but inside, he pretends not to hear.
“Should I silence them?” Genji asks creepily.
Kinzo says no, and laughs maniacally. He says it’s time, and he hopes it will be interesting. With that, the scene ends and the clock moves forward to 10:00 PM.
In the dining room, the veneer of respectability is off, and the adults are openly fighting about money in front of the kids. Battler is so digusted by it, he leaves the table; Jess follows, clearly equally bothered. George follows to be a tool.
Jessica is clearly upset by her parents’ behavior, but Bat says he basically couldn’t hate his father more at this point so it only matters inasmuch as he doesn’t want to hear it. George is like ~you kids don’t understand~ and I hope he dies first, smarmy bastard.
George basically won’t stop telling Jessica she’s being a baby until she’s so upset she has to leave the room, and Bat wonders where Maria is. George walks away.
Kyrie comes out as Battler is sitting there thinking, and says she hates it too, but you know Kyrie, you married into it of your own volition. It’s not like Rudy is just a greedy asshole vulturing over his father’s corpse during these three days of the year. You’re probably with the dude for the money, so suck it up.
Instead, she succeeds in making Bat feel sorry for her.
Kyrie asks Battler if he thinks there’s an extra person on the island cosplaying as Beatrice. He says it certainly seems that way.
“Then, where exactly is this person now? At the very least, she must have been on this island when it started raining. And since that time, the weather has become progressively worse, so taking a boat out would be pretty much impossible. In that case, that person must still be on the island hiding from the rain somewhere… And without being spotted by any of us?”
Bat points out that the island is gigantic and mostly forest, while they just chill on the main estate. There’s tons of place to hide out.
Kyrie keeps poking holes in his explanations, and he realizes she think’s there’s no extra person — someone of the 18 accounted for is playing this part to fuck with everyone.
Battler points out that since you can’t prove a negative, all they can do it look at the evidence for a 19th person and decide if it’s convincing enough.
Kyrie tries to argue there was no reason not to mail the letter in advance and avoid all this, but Kyrie is stupid. Of course there was — if Kinzo set this up, he would totally get off on watching everyone slowly freak out and go for each other’s throats. That this isn’t the simplest way to get the message out isn’t evidence against it, it’s evidence that Kinzo is a loon, which we already know to be true. Kyrie’s like “why haven’t they shown themselves if they exist” but it’s because not showing themselves is making the family lose their minds, dipshit.
Her shitty reasoning somehow makes Battler doubt his perfectly solid reasoning. She says that Maria is the only one who knows the answer, but this isn’t true. We have every indication Maria 100% accepts she saw Beatrice, and regardless of whether or not it was a 19th person or someone dressed up, she believes it and in her head there’s no other answer. TBH Kyrie comes across as wanting to bait Bat into grilling Maria as a Fellow Kid, but manipulativeness aside, she’s missing the point that Maria takes things at face value and thus is going to backfill the details she needs to justify the story she’s accepted internally.
Regardless, Rudy comes out and the discussion stops. He asks if Bat is going to stay in the mansion or go back to the guest house, and Bat says all the kids will probably go back. He tells Bat not to go to sleep because they need to have a Family Meeting. Battler and Kyrie are both like wtf. Finally they get Rudy to say what he wants to talk about.
“…Tonight… I will probably be killed.”
They’re both like WTF but Rudy just exhaustedly walks away. Kyrie says he’s probably just tired and being dramatic, and she goes after him.
We jump over to Natsuhi, who doesn’t believe the 19th person exists. She sees this as a way for Krauss to be undermined. Not being an idiot, she thinks that it would be just like Kinzo to plan this elaborate thing to fuck with everyone.
Earlier, Krauss had called her aside, and taken her to a room in the mansion no one was allowed to enter. Inside, Krauss showed her a bar of gold with the family emblem in it. He’d tracked it down from one of Kinzo’s old business contacts, and it seemed to prove the gold horde was real.
Natsuhi is furious — Krauss had spent their whole marriage convincing her the gold was fake, and he was lying. She asks if her devotion and their partner ship mean nothing to him. The answer is no Natsuhi, why the fuck did you marry him. He only says the inheritance isn’t her problem and she shouldn’t be involved.
In the present, Natsuhi monologues.
…Even if I am Natsuhi… I am not Ushiromiya Natsuhi.
As a borrowed womb, I am despised and abused for not even being able to take care of that… even so, I have tried to properly perform the duties of a wife… but have been rejected even by my husband. I did my best as though raising my daughter was the last job left to me… However, my anger and sadness, having no place to go, caused me to subconsciously strain that relationship too…
Because I have been excessively strict in Jessica’s education, I am thoroughly disliked by her. Jessica despises me for not being interested in anything but grades. There is no longer anything I can do for the Ushiromiya family…
No… that’s no good. Even so, I must help my husband dislodge the schemes of the other greedy siblings. The head won’t be around much longer. Eventually, Krauss will succeed the head. And the next successor will be Jessica… Strictly speaking, the man who enters the family by marrying Jessica will become the next head, but it all comes to the same thing.
I have to make Jessica an excellent successor who everyone will accept as worthy to take over the Ushiromiya family. In the days to come, that greedy Ushiromiya Eva will probably be plotting to find some fault with the main family, so that if all goes as she plans, Jessica will be dragged down from the succession, with George in her place. It is regrettable, but George is a man, and even more, has matured as a person. Compared to Jessica, who is right in the middle of her rebellious period and whose grades are slightly below average, it can be seen at a glance who is more fit to succeed the head.
So in order to secure Jessica’s position, I need to turn her into an excellent person. After doing that, I want to find her an excellent husband worthy of the excellent person she will have become. A wonderful man who will truly accept Jessica, and stay with her through all of life’s joys and sorrows.
Natsuhi wonders if she’s just trying to live vicariously through her daughter.
Natsuhi thought back to the days when she’d had no choice but to marry into the Ushiromiya family, because of that unavoidable fate.
Ah, this explains a lot.
As Natsuhi wanders the house aimlessly, she runs into Jessica. Jessica is shocked by how sick her mother looks, and even though they’ve always been antagonistic toward each other, she tries to be kind. Natsuhi doesn’t want to worry Jess, so she tries to shoo her, but Jess looks so dejected that she calls her back and thanks her for being so considerate. She says she’ll go lay down so Jess doesn’t have to worry.
Touched, Jessica tries to think of something she can do for her mother, and remembers the charm from Maria in her pocket. Feeling stupid, she gives it to her mom and says to put it on her door for protection. Surprisingly, Natsuhi thinks this is sweet, and says she owes her a present from her own childhood. So I guess Jess dies and Natsuhi lives.
Jessica rejoins the boys, where Maria is sleeping on the couch. Rosa comes in and asks the kids to take Maria back to the guest house with them since things will be calmer there. They agree and head over; Shannon goes with them to lend a hand.
When they get there, they invite Shannon to hang out with them, so she goes to the servants’ quarters in the guest house to check the schedule. There, she finds Genji and Kanon. Apparently, all the servants except Gohda have been ordered to spend the rest of the night in the guest house. Sketchyyyyy.
Genji, Shannon, and Kanon were all permitted to wear the Ushiromiya family crest, the ‘One-winged Eagle’, as the servants who served directly under Kinzo. Of course, since they were working for the Ushiromiya family, they had to obey anyone’s orders, but their only boss was Kinzo. Since only Kinzo held the right to employ them, even Krauss could not have them dismissed of his own accord. Because of this, they were often viewed by Krauss and the others as Kinzo’s underlings and shunned.
Gohda’s such a creeper.
“…If you would excuse me, I will go rest. If anything happens, call me immediately. Our guest tonight is a special case after all.”
Emphasis is in the text. With that bit of ominousness, Genji goes to lay down.
Shannon gets permission to hang out with the kids and runs off. Genji tells Kanon he can go, too.
“…No, such a thing is not necessary for me. Human children may have a need to play, but… we are… furniture. […] …Nee-san is also… furniture. Even if she pretends to be a person, it will only hurt her later. I understand that, so I try not to get too close to people, that’s all.”
Meanwhile, George has found an excuse to go back to the mansion with Shannon, so they’re alone in the other building. George decides to seduce her by raving about what a genius his father is, for some reason. Shannon thinks that she had no family, and apparently Kinzo runs an orphanage where he pulls all the servants from so they’re specially loyal to him. Weird.
Then George starts to lecture her about how she needs to do something with her life. So sexy.
“…George-sama…Is it wrong for me to keep living… this way?”
“Yeah, it is.”
Such a catch.
Oh, also he calls her Sayo-chan (Sayo is her real name; all the indentured orphans take fake -non names) and she calls him George-san and this has apparently been awkwardly going on for a while. I take it they’re the dead/heartbroken lovers from the riddle.
“…Th, that’s right… I have something I wanted to show you.”
“…Wh… what could it be?”
George, who had been speaking eloquently, suddenly started to stutter.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
It’s actually a ring, and he asks her to marry him. Pfft, “You’re life to this point has been shitty and meaningless,” is certainly one way to propose.
He tells her she doesn’t have to say anything — if he sees her wearing it tomorrow, he’ll take that as a yes.
The scene ends with George heading back alone, and we advance to 11 PM.
Shannon goes and asks Gohda if he needs help. He’s just doing crossword puzzles in his office, but he tells her to go patrol the mansion. Irritated that he’s using her to get out of work, Shannon goes to think. She wanders the hall making sure all the doors and windows are locked for the night. As she’s walking around, she thinks she sees… butterflies, sparkling. She looks again and it’s gone. But all she can think is that the rumor is Beatrice patrols the halls at night, in the form of butterflies.
As the clock in-game tolls midnight, we see everyone on the grounds and where they are. After we move through the cast, the scene ends, and we advance to 6 AM the next morning.
That was kind of… anticlimactic. I was expecting something big to happen at midnight. Oh well.