So. Magical shenanigans are taking place.
If we can believe what we saw, Beatrice sent Kanon’s reanimated body, or something that looked like it, to attack the Sayo, Nanjo, Genji, Gohda and Kumasawa in the kitchen. Sayo correctly recognised what was going on, and that ‘Kanon’ had a vulnerability to spider-related things such as cobwebs, but when provoked, ‘Kanon’ suddenly displayed ninja skills and killed Kumasawa and Nanjo. Together, Gohda and Genji were able to subdue ‘Kanon’ and press the cobweb to the being’s face, which destroyed it, leaving no corpse.
In the characters screen, we have some death notes.
- Kanon: “There is no corpse. But he is dead. // The witch declared it in red. So even without a corpse, his death is incontrovertible.”
- Jessica: “(description of how she was found) At the very end, she got to be with the person she loved. // She must have been very happy.”
- Nanjo: “Died in the servant room, his throat slit by a sharp blade or something similar. // But this alone is not enough.”
- Kumasawa: “Died in the servant room, his throat slit by a sharp blade or something similar. // Finishing touches yet to come.”
We begin this chapter with the group in the parlour being informed of the deaths of Nanjo and Kumasawa. The survivors are having a lot of difficulty explaining what they saw, not helped by Rosa shouting and pointing her gun around the place.
They report: a bloodstained, seriously injured person arrived at the back door, and they took that person to the serving room for treatment. Genji finally says at first they believed it was Kanon. But by the time it killed Nanjo and Kumasawa, it was definitely not Kanon. They insist they can’t explain it with words. Hey, I wrote some words at the top of this post, it’s not that hard. Battler speculates that they just couldn’t believe Kanon could get up and attack them.
This would be a great time for Genji and Shannon to reveal their knowledge of magic huh.
Rosa resolves to check the bodies, which surprises Battler, since it’s not the safest strat. Maria is writing something - she claims to be ‘solving Beatrice’s problem’.
They all proceed to the servant room, which is absolutely covered in blood. But… the bodies are missing! And they locked the room when they left. Gohda unlocked it as they returned.
It’s another locked-room mystery. But easily solvable if Beatrice (or another actor) had earlier stolen a key from one of the servants apart from Gohda or Kanon.
It’s noticed that Nanjo took the key from Jessica’s pocket, so someone hiding in the room could have taken that master key back from his corpse and escaped from the locked room that way.
Narrative!Battler comes up with a hypothesis: Beatrice hides in the room while Kanon (or an imposter) murders Nanjo and Kumasawa, and then when the servants leave, she takes the key from Nanjo’s pocket and leaves with the bodies. Seems kind of contrived (how could Beatrice be sure they’d take the injured Kanon to the servant room?) but OK.
Of course, unlike narrative!Battler, meta!Battler knows that Kanon died at the same time as Jessica. That doesn’t rule out an imposter who looks like Kanon.
That’s not the problem she raises. Instead, it’s that for this plan to work, the culprit would have to know Nanjo took the key from Jessica’s body. Battler puts on a front that he isn’t impressed by this objection, but he’s somewhat worried by Beatrice’s dilemma of suspect people he trusts, or believe in witches.
Still, he challenges Beatrice to deny that anyone was hiding in the servant room. Beatrice says there’s no need, because Rosa is about to demolish that reasoning.
Trying to predict Rosa’s objection… I’m not sure, honestly.
OK, not by reasoning, but new information. It’s another letter from Beatrice.
It repeats the claim that the only way for Beatrice to be defeated is the riddle of the epitaph, and says anything else - escaping, fighting back, denying her, etc. - is useless. In a P.S., it says Beatrice ‘borrowed the two bodies for the ritual’ but she’ll give them back later.
Along with the letter, Beatrice ‘returns’ two master keys: the one in Nanjo’s pocket, and Kumasawa’s, i.e. the ones left on the two corpses. So those keys couldn’t have been used to lock the door.
Gohda used his key to unlock this room. That leaves only Genji’s and Sayo’s master keys that might have been stolen by Beatrice?
Battler raises the non-master keys, specifically for the servant room. Beatrice redtexts that all of those keys are in the key box at the centre of the servant room.
I haven’t put any screenshots in a while, but this is roughly what the screen looks like a lot of the time right now.
- Entry and exit are impossible except for the single door and the single window.
- Those were both locked.
- The door and the window do not permit any kind of entry and exit when they are locked.
- It is impossible to open the door without a servant room key or a master key.
Battler has still yet to establish that Genji and Sayo remained in possession of their keys. Come on.
As usual, Battler says it’s no good at all. Beatrice encourages him to flip a chessboard.
He comes up with an idea. He asks Beatrice what the definition of a hidden door is. Beatrice says it’s an entrance or exit that cannot be recognised by those who do not know of it. I wonder where he’s going with this…
Ah, he’s suggesting that rather than a hidden door, there could be a hidden room or compartment for someone to lurk in.
This could be easily scuppered by Beatrice declaring there’s no such thing…
Anyway, Battler reasons that if the culprit is hiding in the room on a hidden compartment or shelf, they’re currently trapped in the room - ‘checkmate’, he calls it. Of course, he can’t communicate that to the people in the narrative.
He’s stating this challenge with a lot of confidence. Complete with dramatic foreshortened finger pointing.
After a surprisingly long wait, Beatrice redtexts (along with an abrupt music stop):
- No one exists in this room except your group. “Your group” refers to Battler, George, Maria, Rosa, Genji, Gohda and Shannon.
- At the time of Jessica’s corpse discovery, only Battler, George, Maria, Rosa, Genji, Gohda, Shannon, Kumasawa, and Nanjo were in Jessica’s room. The corpse of Jessica is also included, of course.
- Therefore, both in the case of Jessica’s room and the case of the servant room, no humans exist that you were not aware of. No one is hiding.
- No method exists by which the doors can be locked from outside without using a key. Regarding the windows, no method exists by which they could somehow be locked from the outside.
- You are incompetent!
So much for that dramatic pointing. Also, ouch. Also, what.
After getting pwned that hard, Battler gets a bit melodramatic:
I can’t believe he still hasn’t proposed a stolen key.
We get like five ahaha.wavs chained in a row which sounds super silly.
Now, as Battler whines, Beatrice offers to flip over the chessboard from her side and offer Battler the best move.
Reversing that chessboard gif took entirely too long, for the record, because I got some weird artefacts due to the frames not being the size of the image when I just reversed it in gifsicle so I had to download a script for GIMP and ANYWAY.
Anyway, Beatrice suggests that in the case of Jessica’s room, someone could have waited for everyone to leave without hiding. Specifically, Beatrice suggests, Jessica could have been playing dead.
Following this theory, all the servants (except Kanon) are implicated for either participating in or covering up the murder, and this leads Battler to start suspecting everyone. Clever manipulation, Beatrice, but I don’t think Battler will stand for this long.
Battler freaks out. Beatrice uses red text to say Come on, Ushiromiya Battler, kneel. That’s a statement in the imperative, it doesn’t have a truth value! I guess if she can laugh in red text, why not give orders?
Again with the shoes thing. Keep it in your pants, Beatrice.
More questionable redtext:
More Beatrices start appearing.
They’re all lipsynced together, with slightly different expressions, which is very creepy to look at.
So much for an intellectual game of mystery solving. Of course, this was never that. Beatrice is breaking out full on psychological warfare tactics now.
Fade to black.
Next, back to the narrative.