Last time, the deaths begin, and so does the suspicion.
Natsuhi grudgingly allows the servants to leave the sitting room to prepare dinner, but insists the three of them stay together at all times.
Kanon wonders why Beatrice’s curse had to hit Shannon, and Genji says it was just bad luck — there was nothing they could do. He thinks about the bloodmarks on Natsuhi’s door, and wonders if Natsuhi, however she was saved, was spared in place of Shannon.
Suddenly, Battler walks in.
“That’s a pretty interesting chat you’re having there. Let me join in too.”
That was… uncharacteristically suave.
He asks point-blank who Beatrice is. Kanon refuses to say anything, so Batt gets all up in his business until Genji interferes, saying he’ll talk.
The three explain that Beatrice is real, and she’s there, and she’s dangerous. Battler is reluctant to believe, but Kumasawa begs him to — Beatrice does not take kindly to nonbelievers. As Battler is awkwardly laughing in shock, he asks if she’s there now. They say she has no true physical form, so she can be anywhere, and anything. Like…
“Whether your wavelength matches or not is determined at birth. Battler, you were born with a mismatched wavelength. That’s why you can’t see her. That’s why you can’t meet with her, and that’s why you can’t talk to her. Kihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi. You’re the type Beatrice hates the most.”
“Battler. You still don’t understand? Beatrice-sama ‘exists’.”
“She ‘exists’, you say… but where?”
“Like I said, Beatrice-sama ‘exists’ here.”
…That’s right. Now that I think about it, I’ve been feeling for some time now that the others haven’t been looking in quite the right direction. I’d figured that everyone had just been gazing into the distance, but… that wasn’t the case.
The four here, Genji-san, Kanon-kun, Kumasawa-san, and Maria… everyone except me… was looking at a spot right behind me.
He looks, and obviously can’t see anything.
Maria says it’s a good thing he has her charm — he’d have been dead otherwise.
Suddenly, Bat starts laughing. He says he actually lost the charm a while ago, but didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so he didn’t tell. He doesn’t believe things he can’t see, and if Beatrice wants belief, she’ll have to show herself. That’s good, let’s goad the murderous witch, what could go wrong.
Later, everyone is loosely wandering the house, but no one strays far. The older kids talk about Maria’s split personality. It bothers Jess, and Bat asks if she thinks it’s actually short-term possession. George, who deserves to die for his ignorance, insists it’s just a phase. We all go through phases like that, is his stance. You’re an idiot, George.
Even if you accept that, I wonder if it explains that creepy dual personality thing… Well, I think I can accept it vaguely.
Even Battler thinks it’s stupid.
George pyschobabbles some more but the scene ends with Bat saying he just can’t totally dismiss the witch angle.
He asks Jess what the household believes, and she says they basically all go along with her being real for Kinzo’s sake. Bat thinks to himself that the servants, at least, seem sincere in their belief.
Battler theorizes that one of them is using the Beatrice myth to try to get away with these crimes. He bases this on the idea that if there was a presence that wanted to be noticed, it would have done the crimes in a more flamboyant way that made it clear the 12 remaining were innocent. This has the same problem as Kyrie’s reasoning, which is that is assigns a logical motive to someone we know is illogical. If Beatrice just wanted to sow chaos, like an evil witch obviously would, she would do exactly what was done here: a quiet crime with no clear perpetrator that would breed anxiety and distrust.
This is bordering on idiot ball territory for Battler.
George finally brings up a good point, which is that: the letter Maria read spoke of ‘collecting interest’, and it obviously means human interest as well as money and goods. Battler and Jess realize that if he’s right, it means that people are going to keep getting picked off unless someone solves the riddle.
The scene ends with Bat thinking that even if this all sounds crazy, all they can do right now is take shots in the dark and hope to get a hit.
The kids propose trying to solve the riddle to the adults, who say it does make some sense. Battler makes another good point as well:
“If the culprit is after the hidden gold, it would be very ineffective for them to force us to solve the riddle. Asking the person who made it in the first place would be much quicker and easier. In that case, the question is… is this all a message directed at Grandfather?”
They start to try to figure out wtf happened to Kinzo. Eva grills Genji about the possibility of another entrance to the study, but he insists there’s not. The other servants and Nanjo agree, but none of them are convincing. A secret door would certainly explain some things.
But since everyone says there’s no door, Eva points out that Natsuhi was the last person to see Kinzo. Everyone starts flipping out at each other, Eva screaming at Natsuhi to prove she didn’t kill Kinzo, and tensions escalate to Natsuhi pointing the gun at Eva. Shoot her! She’s only marginally less annoying than her son.
Battler tells everyone to calm the fuck down, and points out how easy it would have been for Kinzo to hide while they searched for him and sneak out of his room once they were convinced he was missing. Thank you, Battler.
Batt also goes for Eva’s jugular, pointing out that if she’s asking Natsuhi to prove a negative, she should, too! Can Eva prove she didn’t kill the six victims when she and Hideyoshi left the discussions to go to bed alone the previous night? After all, she and Hide were the last ones to see them.
As Battler and Jess shout at Eva, Jess starts having a coughing fit… and it doesn’t stop. Kanon, Nanjo, and Natsuhi run over to her in panic. Apparently Jess has asthma, and it’s been getting worse as she gets older. Isn’t that the opposite of how it usually works? Because as your lungs get bigger you get more air? I could be completely making that up.
They give her an inhaler and she gets her breathing under control.
The whole thing calms everyone down. Batt says he understand they all want to find the culprit, but they shouldn’t turn on each other. George agrees. Shut up, George, where were you when your mom was attacking Natsuhi?
They all comfort themselves that the police will definitely come tomorrow and definitely solve the crime.
Eva and Hideyoshi smarmily leave to go lay down, and Eva tells George to come with them. George refuses, thus implying he won’t suspect Natsuhi openly. Shut up, George.
As the room settles into quiet, Maria and Battler make eye contact. She looks at him meaningfully, and he says quietly that he believes in Beatrice right now, because that’s definitely the better alternative to believing it was one of them. He mopes about the mystery of the potential 19th person, and the clock strikes 7:00 PM.
Everyone left sits around brooding. Natsuhi says they should see the boat early the next morning. Kumasawa cooks to try to cheer people up. Nanjo and Genji play chess and Nanjo asks if Genji is worried. He says no, as everything is going as he’d expect. Nanjo is weirded out and says he hopes that everyone will be alright.
Over with Eva and Hide, they talk about how this is the first alone time they’ve had in a while, and how old George has gotten.
I wonder if we were too hasty in having a child.”
Is this why George is such a tool?
Yes, she had thought it had been a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Her older brother Krauss had been unable to have a child for quite some time. Six months passed after his marriage to Natsuhi without any signs of pregnancy, which didn’t please Kinzo at all. Eva herself had thought that, since when she married, her name would be moved outside the Ushiromiya register anyway, it didn’t matter whether the successor to the head was born or not.
And then, one day, she had a heavenly revelation… Or maybe it was the whisperings of the devil that she had heard in her greed. Why couldn’t she remain in the Ushiromiya register by giving birth to a successor first? If things went well, could she inherit the Ushiromiya family herself…?
When she proposed this to Hideyoshi, he had approved of it instantly. This had not been because Hideyoshi also had greedy thoughts. For Hideyoshi, who had no close relatives, it was a chance for him to feel once more the long forgotten thing called family. So when they got married, he had not fussed over which last name they were to keep, and had quickly agreed to have his name entered into the Ushiromiya family register. It hadn’t been easy to persuade Kinzo, but as his daughter, Eva knew Kinzo’s personality well. So, by choosing the time when Kinzo was most dissatisfied with Natsuhi, she was magnificently able to make him accept Hideyoshi as a son-in-law.
Eva wonders if Kinzo didn’t see a bit of himself in the hardworking Hideyoshi.
Incidentally, glad to see we kept the “wistful memories” music from Higurashi.
George would eventually become successor to the Ushiromiya family. They had raised him strictly with that purpose in mind. George had been worth their while, and had grown into a fabulous young man who wouldn’t disappoint no matter where he went.
That was why he had not been permitted to fall in love with a servant like Shannon. So when she had learned that Shannon was dead and the engagement was invalid, while part of her had been shocked at the gruesome crime, part of her had been relieved that her cute George wouldn’t be stolen by some servant girl…
I don’t really blame them for this, honestly. I mean, on one hand people should marry for love. On the other, George had to have known what he was doing was irresponsible if being the family head was important to him. It was also unfair to Shannon, to put her in a position where her whole family would resent her. I think she would have been unhappy in the long run, even if she thought it could all work because ~true love.
Eva wonders aloud if Hide and George feel like she used them. Hide says that for his part, he’s happy for their life together and the choices he’s made. God they’re both so dead.
They embrace, and say that after this, they should take a real vacation, just the two of them. You’ll be dead if no one solves the riddle, so don’t get too excited.
It fade-to-blacks and presumably they bang.
Back with the rest of the cast, it’s dinnertime. Genji and Kanon go to get the lovebirds for dinner, and when they get to the room they find another envelope on the floor outside. Genji pounds on the door, but there’s no answer. Well, there are worse ways to die, eh?
Genji is clearly upset, and gets the housekeys out of his pocket. But when he tries to get in, the door is chained from the other side.
Kanon says he can’t sense anyone on the other side of the door, furthering my theory the servants aren’t human. Genji tells him to get Kumasawa and cut the chain on the door while he gets Natsuhi. Kanon rushes to get a hedgeclipper to cut the wires with and returns to the room as quickly as he can.
Kanon is in shock because just a moment ago they were here, and this wasn’t.
He had returned to the kitchen for a short while. He had then gone to the storehouse to grab a tool, and headed right back. Put those together and it couldn’t have been more than five minutes. …How could someone add something this creepy during that period of time…?!
And as though it had just been drawn, almost like the door itself was bleeding, several unsettling vertical red lines slowly dripped down, getting longer and longer……
Kanon tries not to faint, and slowly approaches the door. He cuts the chain.
When Kanon sees Eva, he screams. There’s a knife in her forehead.
Kumasawa’s knees gave way once more, and she sank down on the floor. Her mouth kept flapping open and closed, but she couldn’t even scream.
Kanon shouts for Hideyoshi, but he’s not in his bed. Kanon runs into the bathroom. The shower is on, and Hideyoshi is slumped over, dead.
Just like Eva, a weapon with a demon-like design was stuck into his forehead.
Natsuhi, Nanjo, and Genji run up. Natsuhi asks what the letter says and Genji says they don’t know. They run in, where Kanon shouts that Eva and Hide are gone.
Nanjo examines the bodies. They haven’t been dead for more than an hour.
Even more importantly, it wasn’t shaped like a flat blade, but was conical. He noticed that, rather than a knife, it was more like a short handled spear, something with a shape better suited for thrusting than slicing. Rather than a short spear, some people might call it a thick icepick.
Natsuhi runs out to keep herself from vomiting, and orders the servants to seal off the room. But she’s too late. The kids had heard the screams, and George bursts into the room, wailing. In the hallway, Battler breaks down, too. He cries and screams that he’s going to solve this mystery.
I like the idea that these are Beatrice’s (Maria’s?) notes.
As they head back to the parlor, something is wrong; there’s a bad smell. Shit, who didn’t go with them? I thought everyone was there. Also, no one is scheduled to die until tomorrow.
The kids talk about how anyone could have gotten into the room, and Bat smartly points out they were just having a similar chat about Kinzo’s vanishing.
That’s right. If you include Grandfather’s disappearance, three cases have occurred, and all three times, the door has been the point of interest.
That’s a good point.
Beatrice!Maria comes up and makes another good point.
Battler, since you didn’t want to doubt any of your relatives…you made a wish, saying that you wanted the culprit to be Beatrice, right? Well, Beatrice granted that wish. Just as you said, she ‘did something that was completely impossible for a human to make you believe in the witch’.
Battler gives her a hard love-tap to make her stop laughing and then asks her to tell them what the pattern on the door meant.
She says this is the first magic circle of the moon. It lets you through locked doors.
“When you are blocked in every direction, it finds an unopened door and opens it. ……By using it in a difficult situation, it gives you a solution you hadn’t even thought of until then. To put it simply, you receive the power of observation and the power of discernment, inspiration and intuition.
Every time Maria evil-cackles, Battler gives her a hit on the head, which frankly I support at this point.
George tells Maria there’s no such thing as ghosts, but Bat’s answer is more noncommital.
Over with the servants, they’ve realized the smell is coming from the boiler room. What was the third part of the curse?
On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name.
This kind of makes sense, but we’re not at the third twilight yet, so if Kinzo turns up impossibly dead it feels like too soon.
As they head down to the boiler, they hear a door close in front of them. They both know no one could be there. Kanon runs ahead, determined. Kuma runs after him.
When he gets downstairs, he grabs a fire axe and looks around.
Then, he answered.
“…In roulette, you bet on a number or the colors red or black, vying for a payoff. However, low risk bets like black and red only offer a similarly low payoff.”
What the fuck.
“…On the other hand, if you bet on something of a lower probability, you receive a payoff proportional to the risk. The Master called succeeding despite an astronomical risk a ‘miracle’, and called the astronomical payoff gained as a result ‘magic’.”
“…I have no interest what kind of ‘magic’ you and the Master were seeking when you spun that roulette… But you forgot something. You forgot that roulette has a pocket that is neither black nor red.”
Roulette has a special pocket called ‘0’, which means that the house takes everything in certain variants of the game. This means that all of the coins bet on the table will be swept up, just as though everyone has forfeit…
“………I set my heart on one thing. …I decided that if, ………Shannon was killed, and I was left alive, ………I would bring this roulette of yours to ruin even at the cost of my life…!”
Kanon you can’t win don’t do it.
I’m not furniture anymore. I’m the zero on your roulette…!
I kind of liked Kanon even though he was pretty bland up to this point, but I am seriously enjoying Badass Suicide Kanon.
But!! Doesn’t this invalidate the riddle? If he somehow succeeds, the portion where everyone is revived won’t happen!
Then there’s a creepy giggle and…
Kanon, his hatchet still held aloft, couldn’t take another step after that…
With a *clang*, the hatchet that Kanon had been grasping fell and rolled on the floor… And following that, with a pair of thuds, Kanon’s knees hit… left, then right… That hand, which looked like it was trying to catch the sky now that the hatchet had been dropped, gradually lowered, landing on his chest. Then, the other hand did the same.
The weird spearhead used to kill Eva and Hide is buried in Kanon’s chest.
Kanon was curled up in anguish, fresh blood dribbling from the corner of his mouth… It was… makeup over Kanon’s white skin… Around this scene, the glittering gold butterflies danced through the darkness, mesmerizing… It was a beautiful, beautiful dance…a funeral march of tribute, ridicule, and contempt for single boy’s self-sacrifice.
Jesus fuck Ryukishi.
Kanon pulls the spearhead from his chest. Shit, is he still going to try to attack her?
Just then, everyone runs in. Kuma is overcome with a mix of horror and relief that it wasn’t her, and Natsuhi has the rifle ready. Battler grabs a flashlight and waves it around, but all they see is the exit to the courtyard ajar. Natsushi sends Genji for Nanjo since Kanon is still conscious. Shit, can he tell them it’s Beatrice?
Battler runs out in the courtyard, and Natsuhi follows him into the rain. They obviously don’t find anyone, and Battler has a complete breakdown, screaming to no one about how unfair it all is. Natsuhi holds him as he sobs, and promises to protect all the kids. She says they’ll make it til tomorrow, when they can escape.
When the seagulls cry, the crime will be solved.
But, …for some reason, Battler felt a slight sense of uneasiness… as if the seagulls would never cry again. ……That couldn’t be true. When the typhoon passes, the lively seagulls should return to the harbor again……
Dun dun dun.
They make their way back inside. Battler looks over the crime scene and notes that the symbols on the handle of this weapon are slightly different. He also says Kanon is still alive, but based on the blood loss he doubts he’ll survive.
Genji, sure enough, pulls Kinzo’s corpse out of the furnace. They’re sure because each foot has six toes. Apparently all the noble inbreeding has made polydactyly really common in the family. But if it’s that common surely it’s not such an identifying factor? I am immediately skeptical of this, regardless of the TIPS’ insistence.
Just a second ago, we started doubting whether the corpse here was actually Grandfather’s, right? Maybe we can think of the other bodies in the same way. For example, the first six all had their faces horribly smashed. Some of the bodies had kept enough of their faces for us to confirm who they were, but that old bastard, for example…had lost his entire face, as though it had been peeled off. We had only figured out which body was which by their clothes and surroundings…
I hadn’t thought of that — it’s a good point. If we entertain the possibility there’s no witch, preparing mutilated bodies and locking the other people away makes the most sense here, especially considering the promised resurrection.
…It’s too early to give in to this 19th person… no, this witch…!
In-universe, yeah, I’d have to agree. But as Battler points out, the suspect list is also very small, and basically everyone is accounted for in every situation. From Battler’s POV, it would have to be one of the servants; he was with everyone else for the entire time.
Everyone leaves except Bat and Maria. He asks her why she doesn’t seem afraid.
Beatrice promised me. She said that she’s going to take me to the Golden Land. It’s a wonderful place where you have no obligations, everyone’s always together, and everyone is always nice to everyone else.…I’m looking forward to it. That time will come, very soon now. Kihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi…”
That’s part of the poem, too, right?
The witch will praise the wise, and should bestow four treasures.
One shall be, all the gold from the Golden Land.
One shall be, the resurrection of the souls of all the dead.
One shall be, even the resurrection of the lost love.
One shall be, to put the witch to sleep for all time.
So not exactly. Hmm.
Battler wonders who Maria even is. She’s so unlike the happy child he remembers.
All that’s certain is that Maria has been with the rest of us constantly, has always had an alibi, and hasn’t done anything that would put her under suspicion. She’s simply overjoyed at being made Beatrice’s messenger, and there certainly isn’t a 19th person… Supposedly.
He’s not wrong that she’s somehow the most suspicious despite this.
Battler remembers the second letter they found, and with that the clock advances to 8:00 PM.
We’ll cut here, since I suspect the route will end at midnight. I wonder if perhaps the routes this time are continuous? So this was two days, then two more, etc.? Probably not, but it would be interesting.