Battler’s in a tight spot. But we return to the narrative.
Rosa decides the servants must be lying and creating this fake narrative about Beatrice carrying the corpses off. It’s time for pointing guns dramatically and shouting.
High tempo electronic music kicks in.
Rosa claims Nanjo and Kumasawa are alive, and hiding somewhere in the mansion, waiting to attack. And the surviving three servants are all lying. She says the only evidence she’ll accept is if the bodies are found. She alleges that they’re being paid off by the promise of gold. She accuses Sayo, who has sacrificed ten years to the Urishomiya family, of betraying them. Sayo melts into floods of tears.
Going by past pattern, I expect at some point soon, Battler will interject with some kind of theory to disprove the allegations?
No, Battler is freaking out too. He doesn’t want to keep suspecting people, he wants to just blame Beatrice. He’s angry at the ‘innocent only if dead’ logic but doesn’t know how to counter it.
Ask Genji and Sayo to see if they still have their keys? If one of them is missing a key, that would explain a lot!
Genji still holds to the “furniture” slavery-narrative, and this calms things down. He takes out his master key, and puts it on the table, as a sign of his loss of trust. Rosa agrees that the servants should lose their master keys.
So that’s Genji’s key. Now the question is… does Sayo still have a key?
…oh, she does. Well, that’s my main hypothesis scuppered. In that case, given Beatrice’s axioms, I no longer have a mundane means left to move the bodies and lock the rooms behind without one of the servants being an accomplice. If I was Battler, this is probably where I’d be tempted to admit Beatrice exists. Don’t see why this implies I have to swear loyalty to her, though.
Rosa starts… gloating about having the gun and keys? And an ahaha.wav is overlaid on her laugh at the end there. Well, that’s…concerning. But it does open another tack.
Provisional mundane Beatrice/Rosa accomplice hypothesis
Suppose Rosa is an accomplice of Beatrice. Suppose, as Kanon alleged before getting ‘possessed’, that Rosa stole a key from Kumasawa, killed Jessica and Kanon, and locked the door before ‘discovering’ the bodies (or else gave Beatrice a key to do this). Suppose Beatrice killed Kumasawa and Nanjo, somehow using Kanon’s corpse, moved the modies, locked up, and left a key somewhere outside for Rosa to discretely pick up. Rosa then enters the room, and ‘discovers’ Beatrice’s letter and the keys, one of which she was actually already carrying.
It’s not particularly likely, requiring a lot of skilful pickpocketing and sleight-of-hand, but hey, it’s a hypothesis.
Rosa goes to attack Maria again for the creepy laugh when she talks about Beatrice - but Battler, crying, steps in to say Maria was right all along. How interesting. One Battler has been convinced Beatrice exist, the other hasn’t.
Maria assures Battler that now he believes in Beatrice, he’s sure to come to the Golden Land.
I feel like there’s territory between “Beatrice exists and is a witch” and “I must worship and obey Beatrice”? Kanon rather clearly demonstrated that.
Maria asks Battler to join her in solving the epitaph riddle. She still thinks of Beatrice as a playful figure.
Rosa and Genji agree they’ll be able to stop mistrusting each other when the seagulls cry.
Bloody hell, Genji.
So yeah, they’ll all make up the next morning, Rosa says. George decides he’d rather be with Sayo, and Rosa’s like, fine, I guess you’re an adult so. Battler insists he can’t believe people would be killing each other over the inheritance/gold. He’s reluctant to leave George. Maria promises to protect him with her own magic.
Rosa apologies for being so cruel to Shannon… but she still insists on kicking the servants out, so it’s not much of an apology, is it?
And she doesn’t mean it as one. Whether or not she’s Beatrice’s accomplice, Rosa is a horrible person.
Battler is like, WTF. Some EDM kicks in. Rosa asserts - while waving the gun, no less - that there must be more than five master keys.
Battler’s had enough of this.
Meta!Battler has too. He begs Beatrice to show up and declare in red that there are only five master keys. Beatrice retorts that someone must still disbelieve she exists.
She won’t accept Battler’s declaration that she exists. She demands that he swear to be her furniture. That’s uh, not a logical consequence.
CW SEXUAL ASSAULT IMPLIED
She demands some kind of sexual humiliation thing. Like, seriously, if the foot stuff was bad enough.
We don’t see Battler’s response to this. The chapter ends with like fifty overlaid ahaha.wavs. It sounds awful.