Last time, Beatrice is acknowledged.
Whelp, let’s go find some corpses!
Kinzo wakes up, and realizes he wasn’t one of the roulette’s sacrifices. He wonder if it was chance or his wards.
We jump over to Gohda. Ah. So things have changed. Glad I made that spreadsheet.
Shannon is alive as well, as is Genji. Though, if these are truly random, this doesn’t have any significance. It’s been kind of waffling on whether Bea picks the sacrifices here or not.
Shannon tidies up the dining room and finds a note. Oh, right, Rosa never read Beatrice’s letter! Hmmm.
Anyway, the note just says ‘Chapel’ on it.
We jump over to Rosa. That’s at least three different people this time. Anyway, Genji knocks on her door and tells her something unbelievable about the chapel, but we don’t get to know what it is.
The chapel is apparently located in a grove separate from the house. It was built at the same time as the main building and is quite old, though it’s been remodeled a few times. I was about to say it’s weird for them to have a Western-style chapel but then I remembered Kinzo is a reverse-weeb.
Anyway, I take it the corpses are here this time?
The other servants are outside the chapel, including Kanon. One more person accounted for.
Sure enough, the bloody magic circle is on the door.
Kanon pointed at a single line of English written below the creepy magic circle.
[…] “Happy HALLOWEEN for MARIA.”
Rosa starts freaking out and yells for the servants to check on Maria and get her siblings. But as she does, she realizes: she’s the lowest-ranked, so why was she informed first?
So I guess like last route was really Natsuhi’s, this one will be Rosa’s. And Shannon/George’s.
Rosa felt something creepy crawling slowly up her back…
Rosa: “……D, …did you try to check inside the chapel?”
Kanon: “No, not yet. We tried to check inside, but…”
It’s locked, and the key is missing.
Then Rosa remembers that Maria was given an envelope, too.
That’s right, there’s no mistake, she had handed it over. When Maria tried to open it, that witch told her not to open it yet, then she surely said “The time to open that will come soon”… Rosa was sure. ……There could be no mistake. ……That letter which had been handed to Maria…………
Rosa runs to the guesthouse. All four kids are there sleeping. So who does that leave dead?
Possibly Nanjo or Kuma, as I’m not sure if Hide and Kyrie would outrank Rosa or not and so they might still be alive.
Sure enough, the key is in the envelope in Maria’s purse. We also get confirmation from the narration that Battler is alive as well.
When they get inside the chapel, Kanon sees something:
……Over there, was the altar. In the place where normally a pastor would preach of God’s love, there was a table that shouldn’t have been there.
The table is elaborately filled with pumkpkins and candy. And…
And there were people seated at the table. Three people on each side facing each other, seated in chairs.
Krauss and his wife, Eva and his husband, and Rudolf and his wife.
So Nanjo and Kuma made it, and the kids are all really alive.
Plates piled up with sweets, glasses with lovely drinks. Several ornaments in the shape of pumpkins… …They were all decorated in a Halloween style, …and while it might have been pointless to imagine at a time like this…, she thought that this would surely have made Maria happy if she could see it.
Rose slowly approaches.
And [the candies] were all distributed across the carpet, which was covered with blackberry and cranberry jam…
Oh god the music just got terrifying.
The six of them were seated at a Halloween party, all of them with their stomachs sliced open, all of them had been killed. Was the jam that covered the floor, something that they couldn’t finish eating… which had overflowed out of their stomachs…?
No!! The contents of their stomachs had been thrown out across the floor!! And that wasn’t all. From their stomachs, almost as though… almost as though! As though they had poured out!! S… sweets!
The furniture servants are in shock, and Gohda starts shouting to call the police.
“G, Genji-san, Shannon-chan, please ask Father for instructions. Gohda-san, go together with Kanon-kun and call the police. Then, have Doctor Nanjo come here…”
As soon as she says that, she realizes Nanjo can’t do anything and there’s no point.
Alright, time to update the spreadsheet.
So we have three repeat deaths: Rudy, Kyrie, and Krauss. We also have a different form of injury, which is significant for two reasons: a) I feel like I’m justified in keeping track of how the injuries are portrayed and b) there’s no chance for a case of mistaken identity like last time, when the faces were mutilated. However, keeping in mind And Then There Were None, this was done in a way where playing dead wouldn’t be too hard to do with costume makeup and some very shallow breathing. Let’s keep an eye on Nanjo and how they deal with the corpses.
Back with the kids, they wonder where everyone is. Maria is having a tantrum because Rosa opened her letter.
As they search for the adults, Nanjo comes down, and says he doesn’t know where anyone is either. Then Gohda and Kanon come in. Gohda darts into the servant’s quarters and Kanon commandeers Nanjo.
They saw Gohda through the door to the servants’ room, which had been flung open. He was holding the receiver and violently pressing the hook. From that, they realized that he was trying to call a hospital or the police. In any event, he was trying to call someone because a serious emergency had occurred.
They realize something serious is going on and chase after Kanon and Nanjo. They barge into the church before anyone can stop them.
Oooh, the music here is really cool.
As everyone cries, MetaBea and MetaBat pop in again. Beatrice points out that she left the faces alone this time so they could be sure who was killed, while Bat is just like, this is some fucked up shit.
So, Battler, is it alright to leave the examination of the corpses to Nanjo? Isn’t it traditional in mystery novels for the doctor who performs such examinations to be an accomplice? Then don’t leave the examination to Nanjo. Do it yourself. Make completely sure that without a doubt, the six corpses are those six people, that they aren’t pretending to be dead, that they really, really are dead!!
Yes, I was thinking this too, that Nanjo could be in cahoots.
Back in realish time, Gohda runs in and says the phone lines are down. Jessica points out that School!Beatrice is the obvious suspect and runs to confront her. Kanon and Gohda chase after her.
Meanwhile, Maria creepy-laughs that the banquet has begun. Rosa slaps her, but it’s pretty understandable this time.
Battler is trying to keep a cool head and figure out wtf is going on, but he’s having a tough time. Then he notices an envelope on the altar, addressed to “those who remain.”
It’s… the same letter Maria read last time, about collecting interest and the murders stopping if they find the gold by solving the riddle. So… what’s the letter Rosa got?
After they read it and realize what it means, Battler notices gold ingots on the table. As they freak out, Maria says she’s ready to go to the Golden Land, and the scene ends.
The clock advances to… 6:43, which is weirdly specific.
Meanwhile, Jessica bangs on Beatrice’s door as Kanon and Gohda try to calm her down. It’s not working. Finally Kanon gives her the key to the room.
Obviously Bea is gone. She left a letter.
Do you think I’d be that senile, to wait comfortably in this place for you to barge into here? You’re too wild to be suitable for this intellectual game. What kind of faces did your parents, who raised you to be so stupid, make? Yeah, I saw them, they had a truly stupid look just like you. Now, their bellies are full in the land of sweets!
Ahahaha Beatrice is the best.
Jessica is understandably not entertained and just starts smashing things. Okay, maybe she’s the best.
Gohda is afraid she’s going to hurt herself and finally manages to get her to stop lashing out, but she just breaks down on the floor and sobs. She starts to hyperventilate but won’t let Kanon or Gohda help her. Finally Kanon asks Gohda to leave, saying Jess needs to cry it out and he’ll watch her back as she does.
Gohda was a veteran with many years behind him. He had seen a great number of people in his life. So he knew of the vigorous sparkle that could be found in the eyes of those who had self-control. He had surely seen that in Kanon’s eyes. Therefore, he would leave this to Kanon. When you think about it, maybe this was the first moment that Gohda had trusted Kanon and relied on him for a job…
Aw, that’s sweet.
As Jessica suffered from her asthma, …it seemed she was heading towards her room, leaning against the wall. ……Kanon chased after her wordlessly. If she had asked for a hand, he would have jumped over and supported her. …But as long as Jessica didn’t ask for that, he hid himself, watching over her from a distance where he could come to her rescue at any time.
She finally collapses from the asthma attack and Kanon walks over and gives her his shoulder. She takes it, and he guides her into her room and prepares her inhalor. She takes it, and finally starts to calm down. He realizes she still needs to cry for a while.
“I won’t, …let you be alone. …………………..So, I will be in the corridor. …At any time, ……call me.”
As he turns to go, she makes a noise, and he stops. They stare at each other for a long time. Finally, she says it was nothing.
As Kanon repeatedly questioned himself, he walked down the corridor. ………He felt like the window at the end was coolly calling to him
He wonders, if he weren’t furniture, if he would have understood whatever she left unsaid.
Obviously, Beatrice is there to mock him.
A distant man like you hurts women the most! You couldn’t understand. You don’t have a clue how much you have injured Jessica.
She says it’s because he’s furniture, and laughs.
She says they’ll be the perfect sacrifice for the second twilight. Kanon disavows his feelings for her, hoping to make it not work, but Bea says, fine… I’ll just kill her for fun, to watch you suffer!
Jessica screams, Beatrice suddenly vanishes, and the music is weirdass Latin chanting. Never a good sign.
Kanon runs to help Jessica.
Jessica was surrounded by countless butterflies, and was waving her hands around, trying frantically to swat them.
[…] Jessica gagged violently. …Almost as though the butterflies were triggering an asthma attack, sneering at her. But when Kanon ran towards Jessica as she choked, the butterflies stopped attacking her, and this time, they began to elegantly dance a rondo around the two.
Jessica: “………Kanon-kun……, Kanon-kun………”
Kanon: “…It’s alright. …………While there’s still life in me, ……I won’t let anyone lay a finger on you. ………Come out, Beatrice!! Are you satisfied with this!!”
Beatrice cackles and appears. She snaps her fingers, and the butterflies clump together. Out of the clump crawls… furniture.
Kanon tells Jessica to stay behind him, and keep her back to the wall at all times.
“So, you’ve taken it out. ………How does it feel to have the fact that you are a subhuman being exposed in front of the girl you have feelings for?”
Probably not good, but Kanon refuses to be goaded. He says he knows he can’t beat her, but he’ll do everything he can to disrupt her until he dies or help comes.
They fight. Jess is just in shock, wondering if she’s even awake.
Kanon is hit, and Jess manages to break through her shock to yell at him not to give up. This seems to be what he needs for the final push, because he manages to trick the goat-furniture and destroy it. Then, he lunges at Beatrice.
But it’s obviously no good. She taunts him, calling him furniture over and over. Finally, Jess can’t take it any more.
“I don’t need a reason. ……Kanon-kun is Kanon-kun. No, his real name is different, ……but a name doesn’t make him furniture! Kanon-kun has his own way of living. That’s a very noble thing, and it’s up to him to decide. ……There’s no such thing as not being able to have an opinion because he’s furniture, or not being able to have his own life because he’s furniture!!”
She says he chose to protect her, to sacrifice himself for her. There’s nothing more human than that.
Bea just cackles, and says they’re obviously perfect for the lover’s sacrifice.
Hmm. So the deaths are associated with deadly sins.
Asmodeus of Lust
Huh, so the stakes are wielded by furniture. This does explain some things in the universe where this is all supernatural.
Kanon looks at her and realizes the goat was child’s play, and this is furniture he could never hope to contend with. She readies the stake and…
Kanon’s back had been the target… But Jessica had predicted it. She had predicted that the witch’s target would be the complete opposite of fair and honest… his back. But she had no way to block it.
…She had no intention of sacrificing herself. She thought that there was no way other than this to protect Kanon’s back. So, she could do nothing but block it with her own back.
The furniture of the witch, which had changed its form into a demon’s stake, was stuck deep into Jessica’s back. It was an obviously fatal wound that reached as far as her lungs.
Damn. Clever Jess.
The second stake is Satan of Wrath.
…If you were a human, I’d say it’s time for you to step down, but since you’re furniture, maybe I should say it’s time for the stage manager to carry you behind the stage!”
“…I am not… furniture anymore. I won’t… doubt that again!”
A nice sentiment, but it doesn’t save him.
“…Sorry…. I couldn’t protect you….”
“…Don’t worry about it… You were really… cool…”
Lol, I love this exchange.
“……You know, Kanon-kun, ………you aren’t, furniture anymore…”
“…Yes…………… I was, ……too late, ……in realizing that……”
She asks him his real name… but they die before he can say.
Beatrice laughs that he’s still furniture, no matter what.
After taking a puff from her pipe, the witch breathed the smoke at Kanon’s corpse…
It vanishes into the air.
The witch played dirty until the very end. The corpses of the two who had been able to understand each other in the end, were not even permitted to be close to each other… If someone had been watching, they would probably mourn that this was indeed a disgrace to the dead. However, Beatrice was far crueler than that… the reason for that would soon become apparent…
We actually move back a bit in time now, to 6:50, where Shannon is informing Kinzo of what happened.
Kinzo’s all ‘so it begins…’ and Genji asks what they should tell Rosa. Kinzo says he doesn’t care and he doesn’t care what anyone does.
LOL! R07 is apparently a Douglas Adams fan.
Kinzo then says the servants are free too, after one more task: he wants to tell them ‘about everything.’ He says he will dictate a will and one of them should write it. Shannon and Genji are shocked, since in the past Kinzo has angrily refused to write a will.
“Well then. If I am to speak of my life, I must begin writing from when I met that witch. Shannon, copy this. My meeting with Beatrice took place a long way back. What year of the Showa era was it…? I think, after the war…”
And we flash back. Oh. Did not expect this. Or anything, but this in a more low-key way.
But — shit. Goddammit game, we jump back to Battler in the chapel. I got all interested for nothing.
Nanjo tells Rosa they should lock the place up and not touch anything so that when they can contact the police, the crime scene hasn’t been disturbed. Gohda agrees, and they leave the chapel.
As they leave and close the door, the kids see the magic circle for the first time. Maria calls it “the seventh magic circle of the sun.” Was this the same as last time? Yes, checking on my old posts, it’s the same one. So either these are very important and can’t change or not important at all and no one is bothering to change them. Super helpful.
Battler: “……And there’s some English written. …’HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOR, …MARIA’. ……I see. And the key to open this door was handed over to Maria, …is that what this is?”
George: “…But this is the chapel. Maybe Maria doesn’t mean Maria-chan, but the Virgin Mary. ……In that case, you could read this as blasphemy against God, in the name of Halloween. They say that witches who make contracts with demons swear to always defile God’s name. ……In that sense, this really is a witch-like crime.”
That’s actually an interesting interpretation. Alright, George, you get a cookie. Don’t eat it, I’ll likely be taking it back soon.
Bats asks Rosa if there’s anything she wants to tell them about the temple vis a vis why they perp may have decided to go through all the trouble to set this up there instead of, say, stuffing them in a tool shed.
Rosa says all she knows is that the chapel was very important to Kinzo and off-limits to everyone except at the annual deep cleanings the servants had to perform. I feel like this must relate back to that weird scene of everyone swearing fealty to Beatrice from earlier. Was Rosa in that? Yeah, she was. So it’s not like Bea made them all come out and then murdered everyone then. I’m also not sure if that happened already or was happening meta or in the future or what, but taking it at face value, it seems like Rosa is keeping something pretty big from the kids.
I have to say, with R07 I assume everyone will end up being sympathetic (dude made me feel bad for Takano, who was trying to murder an entire town…) but it would be pretty entertaining if Rosa’s route was just about how it turns out she’s pure evil.
George points out the inscription over the chapel doors, which reads, in English, “Unless a miracle occurs, this door will never be opened. Unless a miracle occurs, you will never be blessed.” Maria adds that “Grandfather’s magic is based on astronomically low probabilities. …In other words, the miracle that would open this door, ……would probably require an incredibly vast magical power.” She also evil-laughs and Bat bops her.
This tells us that the chapel is significant and is related to the ritual — perhaps the sacrifice of the six is the power to open the doors? — but I’m not sure of more than that. Or, is the miracle the solving of the riddle? I have no idea.
Rosa wonders if Kinzo built the chapel with the hopes that he’d one day marry Beatrice in it, which would require her return from death aka a miracle, and the chapel would only be used in that case, so the ‘miracle’ in question would be a theoretical wedding between Kinzo and Bea. This is an interesting idea, too.
They all agree it’s romantic in a kind of weird, Kinzo-y way.
Suddenly, Rosa starts freaking out about the door, and Maria cackles and says she was wondering when everyone would notice. Rosa points out that… there was only one key to this door, and it was in a sealed envelope in Maria’s purse while the murders were taking place. Well, on the list of ‘inexplicable things’ this is low — I think someone having a duplicate of the key is pretty obvious.
Unless it’s like a really old-style skeleton key, I guess, but surely those can be duplicated, too?
As everyone freaks out because I guess there are no locksmiths in Japan in the 80s, meta!Bat pops up to say you’ve got to be kidding, another locked-room mystery? Bea needles him, and he says there’s also nothing to prove there’s not a secret passage only the killer knows about. OR A GODDAMN LOCKSMITH.
Anyway, they go back and forth, and Bea says fine, we’ll introduce a new rule to the game.
Battler: “Are you telling me to believe that…?!”
Beatrice: “This is a game between you and me. In a game, the rules are sacred!! Those who take that lightly are not qualified to play!!”
Battler: “Alright, I got it, I’ll accept that rule!! Even an elementary school kid can get into an endless argument and find fault with everything. Then let’s restart right now, and continue where we left off. I’ll repeat it again. ‘Dad and the rest used a hidden door to enter the chapel, or were carried in through it’!”
While I certainly consider the rules of fair play sacred, I’m not sure I believe Beatrice feels the same way. But, fine, I’ll go with it for now.
Beatrice: “Stop!! I will supplement the rule. …..When I speak the truth, I will use red. When I do, I do not bear the responsibility of establishing that by showing proof! It is simply a fact and the truth!! The reason is simple. I carried out all the crimes with magic. So for any impossible crime, all I have to do is wave my magic staff before your eyes. But that wouldn’t make a game! It would be like the barbarism of ignoring victory and defeat in a chess game and punching your opponent!”
I want to be like “It’s insane that the game thinks we need literal in-universe hints” but it’s not I absolutely need hints plz give me hints I accept my metatextual overlords
Beatrice: “So shall we resume once more? Six people definitely entered through the door. I unlocked it with magic. ……How will you defeat this magic, this closed room?!”
Battler: “……Th, the key! Genji-san and the others said there was only one key, but that’s impossible to prove! The culprit secretly made a duplicate key…!”
MOTHERFUCKING GOD DAMMIT
Maria did it.
Or, more seriously, someone steamed open/resealed the envelope.
Bat says lockpicks. Also a good point. But Bea red-letters that only the key can open the door.
Bat says they removed the hinges, also also a good point. But, When the door to the chapel is locked, it prevents any and all methods of entry or exit!
Steam is where I’m placing my bets. She also red-letters that they entered through the front door, not any side doors or anything.
Okay, I should start keeping track of these. I’m going to add a sheet to the .xls from last post and collect the clues.
Anyway, Bea taunts him, and he thinks about Kyrie’s game theory, and trying to view things from a different perspective: “…That’s right. The direction of my thinking was backwards. This is how I should think. How was the chapel, which wasn’t a closed room in the first place, made to look like a closed room?”
What? We know that. The key was put in an envelope and given to Maria, and by all appearances she was uninvolved and had it when it needed to be used, and so it looks like a closed room. How is this helpful?
Oooh, what he’s getting at is that Maria wasn’t actually given the key initially, and a switch was made at some point. Hmm.
This morning, Rosa definitely took an envelope out of Maria’s handbag, and thereby obtained the genuine key to the chapel.
Ah, but this isn’t what he was saying. Clever clever, Batty bats.
Bea says, The key to the chapel truly was the object inside the envelope I gave Maria, but this isn’t quite the point he was making either. So I was on to something with my steaming the envelope — the key was taken from Maria’s bag and replaced later.
She tries, The envelope that I handed over to Maria and the one Rosa opened are the same thing!, but again, she can’t rule out tampering.
Bea admits she can’t say the envelope wasn’t tampered with, but as she admits defeat here, she reminds Bat that all denying her means is having to admit someone in the house is a murderer, and a vicious one.
With that, the clock moves to 7:30 AM.
This was basically a Fair Play 101 course for people unfamiliar with the detective fiction genre, and it was a very good one. All of the rules Bea established here are Fair Play rules — R07 essentially created and solved a simple locked room in order to show how these types of stories generally work, under the assumption that a good proportion of readers won’t be familiar with those rules. On the bright side, I was a step ahead of the narrative here, so I’m at least not a complete idiot and presumably won’t have my degree confiscated. Its two main points are: 1) the crux of Fair Play: thatthe mystery is solveable in a logical way not reliant on authorial sneakiness or bad faith, and 2) the key to working within those parameters, the fact that if you only look at it from the POV of the people on the victim end you’re going to flounder.
This was a very smart thing to do from an authorial perspective, and it one of those things that’s really particular to the medium. There is just not enough time and space for this in a traditional novel, but here in VNland where we already know each of the 8 parts will be roughly a full-length book, possibly more, you can make long digressions like this without it feeling random or like it’s dragging things down. This is an A+ use of VNs.
And if Fair Play is new for anyone here, welcome! You’re now enjoying The Grandest Game in the World. Here’s to hoping it never ends.