Last time, Rosa is fucking insane.
Over with the servants and George, Shannon is telling George what actually happened with not!Kanon and the deaths. George is like, well, I see why you didn’t attempt to explain this to Rosa.
George asks why Shannon thought to get spiderwebs, and she says Kuma apparently told her an old wives’ tale once about how evil spirits hate spiders, and she thought it was worth giving a shot.
“…I”m sure… that the torii shrine was suppressing the power of those evil spirits… And because the spirit mirror was broken, that power came back… …that power must have been what allowed Beatrice-sama to revive… If I, weak-hearted as I am… hadn’t done such an outrageous thing…”
Oh, did she also tell George the truth about Bea and the love charm?
Apparently she told George about smashing the mirror, and he just assumed she was a supersitious person and told her not to worry about it. But now Shannon clarifies that she was serious, and she really believes in Bea.
George asks Genji if he thinks Bea is real. “I have no opinion.” Sounds about right.
You know, Genji feels super suspicious to me this route. Partially because of his weird devotion to Kinzo, but also because of all the furniture, he’s the one we’ve seen the least personality from.
Gohda says he never believed before, but now…
Everyone falls silent, but poor Shannon just sobs, thinking this is all her fault. George asks what happened to the mirror. Oh shit, is he going to try to restore the mirror? That would make me like him much more, actually.
Well, I’ll bet picking it up and taping it together won’t make it effective again. Hahahahaha.
God dammit, George, give me that cookie back. I almost let you eat it last post and now I’m glad I didn’t.
The servants didn’t blame Shannon, but it seemed that they believed that had been the beginning. But even now, there was no way George could believe that far. Even if he was told a story about witches and evil spirits, it just sounded fake to him. Even so, he listened seriously to Shannon’s story, trying find a hint that might relieve at least a little of the pain in her heart.
Then Gohda says, you know, supposedly Natsuhi kept a spirit mirror as a good-luck charm. OH. Checkhov approves!
George is like, so, if we found that mirror… could we resist Bea’s magic?
I’ve heard that Aunt Natsuhi’s family is descended from Shinto priests
George says, let’s do it. Let’s go get Natsuhi’s mirror.
But Natshui’s room is locked. George says Natsuhi should still have the key to it in her pocket. Gohda points out the chapel is also locked, but George is like, I think we’ve reached the point where we can start smashing windows. Alright, George, you can eat the cookie now. Don’t make me regret this.
Genji says he has to stay behind in case Rosa or Kinzo call on him, but Shannon and Gohda are all revved up. Genji is so suspicious rn.
George says, you know, it’s dangerous to be alone. And Genjo just says, I’ve lived a long time, so I’m willing to leave it up to the roulette.
As Genji sits alone on the floor of the kitchen, he pulls something from the floor into his palm. Then… a flash of gold. A butterfly crawls out of a pot and makes to follow the trio down the hall.
There’s a flash.
It happened in an instant. The gold butterfly, elegantly flapping its wings, was pinned against the wall by the knife Genji had thrown, like a butterfly in a bug collection. After the gold butterfly beat its wings several times, looking like it was in pain, it accepted the fact that it couldn’t break free, became fine gold powder and smoke, and disappeared as though it had melted into water…
Well, Genji is at least working against Bea on some level.
Over with Battler, Maria, and Lady Shoot First Ask Later, Bat and Maria try to solve the epitaph, but Bat doubts they’ll be able to come up with anything. Bat asks Maria if she really believes solving the riddle will stop the murders. Why wouldn’t Bea just keep killing for shits and giggles? But Maria says that in magic, huge risks mean huge rewards, and if she were to renege on the promise it would eliminate the risk for her and make the ritual meaningless.
Bat muses on how antithetical this all is to his game-theory thinking, because in chess you theoretically always want to make the best move no matter what, minimizing risk. Here, the goal is to maximize risk and give you opponent a chance to win.
With that in mind, he realizes what they should have done from the start was worked together to solve the riddle, but greed and paranoia sidetracked them. Second verse, same as the first, eh?
Bat looks over at Rosa. He realizes she’s just been projecting herself and her own mistrust all over everyone else, making it impossible to cooperate. He realizes that a lot of Rosa’s abusive behavior was probably learned from seeing her family abuse each other, and so she assumes everyone else is equally as volatile. He finds that pitiful.
Then he thinks about Maria, and how she could be projecting, too. Because she takes keeping promises so seriously, she probably can’t imagine that other people, including Bea, would break theirs. So just because she believes Bea’s promises doesn’t mean Bat should.
Meta!Bea pops up to say I keep my promises. She seems… sad.
“I won’t deny that I am brutal and unjust and a monster. However, I am a witch. I use magic. In order to use magic, there are some rules that must be followed. Because I am a witch, I cannot neglect those. You should believe at least that much.”
“…Even after everything’s gotten so crazy, you’re still telling me to believe only those rules?”
“…I do play tricks. Of course, I also deceive people. That’s no different from humans. But not once have I disregarded something that I have said as a promise. What about humans? Do you always keep your promises?”
“…Since we have catch phrases like ‘Keep your promises’, it’s doubtful that we always follow them properly.”
“From my perspective, humans are much more selfish monsters. There’s nothing as doubtful as a human’s promise. Even I sometimes make contracts with humans, but it’s hard to imagine how strict an agreement must be made just to grant a single foolish wish. …If there’s even a small loophole, they’ll immediately say something like ‘Increase the number of wishes to one hundred’, or ‘try changing into a tiny speck’.”
“…Dad often tells me something. He says that there’s nothing as scary as contracts. He said it’s only natural that people who agree without reading them thoroughly will be chewed to the bone. He made a killing through vice.”
“…Realize this. When people are born, they don’t know of fraud. …They suffer it somewhere. And so it is learned.”
Over with Ocean’s 3 Rejects, they break into the chapel and retrieve the key. George and Gohda make Shannon do it because they’re too chicken.
And… butterflies, shit. They appear behind Shannon, and Gohda screams for her to run. They run for the door, but in their panic, can’t get it open. The butterflies just keep swarming, and Gohda tries to hold them off while the other two work on the door. In the midst of the swarm, he sees… Beatrice.
They finally get the door, and as they flee, George also sees Beatrice. They fly through the grounds, into the mansion, into Natsuhi’s room, and start tearing through her things trying to find the mirror.
Gohda realizes they didn’t close the door to the room, and as he goes to lock it, sees goat-furniture marching down the hall toward them. He slams the door and tries to lock it, but it won’t lock. All Gohda can do is press his weight against the door and tell George and Shannon to hurry.
Gohda just screams, and as he does… one of the stakes phases through the door.
And it stabs Gohda.
Bea breaks in, taunting Shannon. As she approaches them, George finds the mirror. But the butterflies swarm.
At that time, it seemed like, for just an instant, a bright red flash lit up the room… That red flash seemed to wipe out the gold butterflies that were raging around the room, as though drawing a circle with Shannon at the center… Therefore, it was a very divine scene. Almost as though a single streak of light cut through the clouds in the ceiling, in this world of gold…
It’s Shannon’s power, being used as a shield. THE POWER OF LOVE
Bea taunts Shannon more, summoning not!Kanon to harass her. George just stares. not!Kanon attacks, but can’t get past Shannon’s force field. Nice. I like the idea that Shannon is stronger than Kanon, though admittedly this is not!Kanon.
Bea keeps calling Shannon furniture but all Shannon says is that Bea is truly pitiful, trying to humiliate her in front of George as if she has any concept of a loving relationship. Bea starts to get desperate, shouting FUNITURE, but Shannon keeps her nose up and says it’s just getting sad.
“Yeah, that’s enough talk out of you, you furniture furniture furniture, who the hell do you think you are, talking like that, no matter how beautiful you try to make love sound, in the end it’s fraud because love is filthy filth […] I’ll turn you into a filthy maggot, then we’ll see whether that glasses guy still loves you, I’ll show you that this guy’s only had his eyes on your flesh, die you piece of crap, don’t you tell me about looooove!!”
Oh, Bea. D:
(Also, not to spoil the mood, but that Bea repeatedly just calls George ‘glasses guy’ is amazing.)
She throws everything she has at Shannon, and slowly Shannon’s shield wears down. Just as George goes to tell Shannon he loves her… red, everywhere.
The clock moves to 9:00 PM.
Genji does his nightly rounds through the mansion, checking the doors and windows. We see him go outside and notice something bad, then we jump over to a soft knock on Rosa and co’s door. Rosa immediately starts yelling and preparing to shoot, because of course she does.
Anyway, Genji has found Nanjo and Kuma’s bodies.
Genji leads the three others out into the courtyard to see the bodies. In Nanjo’s knee and Kuma’s ankle are the stakes, making them the seventh and eigth twilights.
Maria astutely points out this is seven and eight, and Bat realizes that means George, Shannon, and Gohda are gone.
Bat asks Genji where everyone else is, and Genji explains they went to find something of Natsuhi’s, while he stayed behind just in case. They all run up to Natsuhi’s room. On the outside of the door are red handprints and scratches.
Sure enough, inside, they find the last three twilights. Gohda is five, George six, Shannon four.
Dazed, Battler asks Maria what happens now. She repeats the ninth and tenth twilights, about the witch being revived, none being left alive, and the door to the Golden Land opening.
Battler can’t believe it, saying all they’ve done has been useless. Maria takes his hand and tells him not to worry, that she’ll keep him safe. Aww. It’s cute in a weird, creepy way.
As they head back to the parlor, Battler realizes this was another locked room. But he doesn’t even care anymore. He just can’t emotionally process anything else.
Rosa refuses to let Genji in with them, and Battler can’t believe it, but Genji tells hims not to worry about it.
Battler goes and sits down on the couch in the parlor and sees… an envelope.
It’s two pages again, with the magic circle from last time and a note:
Are you making progress solving the riddle of the epitaph? Very, very soon, you’ll run out of time. The ninth twilight will start very soon.
Battler starts freaking out and suddenly, Rosa turns the gun on him. She says she’s concluded he’s a wolf. Battler basically has a total nervous breakdown and just sobs incoherently as Rosa says not only does she think he’s in on it, she doesn’t even think he’s Battler. The scene ends with Rosa yelling and Battler in tears begging Bea to show herself and end this.
Meanwhile, Kinzo wakes up from a nap. He rants and raves for a while about how much he needs to see Beatrice again, and how he’ll apologize to her this time.
Kinzo tearfully mutters “I love you,” and there’s a knock on the door.
With that, the clock moves to 11:30 PM.
Battler is in the dining room. He’s decided to get drunk and wait to die.
As he sits at the table, someone knocks on the door. It’s Genji. Genji’s like, do you want to spend your last minutes drinking, or do you want to come talk to Kinzo about the truth? He also implies that Battler ‘takes after Kinzo’ by being an alcoholic which… is not something we’ve seen before and something Bat understandably finds upsetting. I also wouldn’t call one wild binge with the goal of numbing your impending death the equivalent of drinking yourself into a stupor every day for 50 years. It is totally understandable that Battler would try anything to escape right now, and it’s kind of amazing no one broke out booze before this. Also wine is delicious.
Reagrdless, Bat decides he wants answers and follows Genji.
Ask they walk, Genji tells him to be prepared, and Bat’s like, really, after all this, you’re still saying that? Genji continues to be suspiciously silent and compliant.
Battler walks into Kinzo’s study… and it’s filled with butterflies. Kinzo and Bea sit on the sofa playing chess.
Beatrice: “You did well coming here, Ushiromiya Battler. First, sit down. ………You called my name many times, did you not? In deference to that, I allowed you to meet me. …So, what will you ask me? What will you inquire? ……The door to the Golden Land will soon be opened. Soon, we will have a banquet to celebrate my revival, at which I will be welcoming the witches. …In the meantime, I’ll be answering your questions, as many as you like.”
Battler asks everything on his mind until Kinzo tells him to shut up, but Bea says it’s fine.
“…Kinzo and I made a bet. We bet on which would come first, Kinzo thinking of a new move, or me making you surrender. I don’t feel like losing. *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*…!”
Bea tells him to start asking questions, and– credits.