Last time Beatrice and Ronove gave a very long-winded and frequently incorrect explanation of disproving a statement by disproving the contrapositive, which is referred to incorrectly as Hempel’s Raven.
We’ve returned to the narrative, where apparently Rosa is about to deal a blow to Battler’s ability to appeal to a potential 19th person.
The siblings pick up that Rosa is feeling kind of out of it. Apparently she has some kind of objection she’s reluctant to voice. She says Beatrice can’t still be alive, because…
What the heck? That certainly came out of left field.
Apparently Rosa remembers leading Beatrice somewhere, where she died, as a child - shortly after the siblings came to the island. Rosa has convinced herself this was a dream… until now.
A new chapter begins, titled Rosa and the Witch of the Forest. We return in a flashback to the very different mansion we saw in the opening to this episode. Kinzo is there. Wow, my interpretation must have been completely wrong.
This rather raises the question: if this flashback took place on Rokkenjima, why is the architecture so different? Perhaps it’s a different mansion.
This time, however, it is the familiar Beatrice who answers Kinzo.
This is confusing. I think we need some labels. The familiar Rokkenjima mansion is Kinzo’s Mansion. This episode’s new mansion, that looks like this:
is Beatrice’s Mansion (we don’t yet know if it’s an earlier version of Kinzo’s Mansion, or the mysterious ‘secret mansion’ where Kinzo’s mistress lives). The familiar Beatrice, in the picture above, is gold!Beatrice. The ‘Beatrice’ in this picture:
Got it? :P
So, in this flashback in Beatrice’s Mansion, Kinzo meets up with gold!Beatrice, and she asks… ‘who am I?’ What an intriguing question.
The narration here is first-person for gold!Beatrice, suggesting the episode opening’s first-person narration was gold!Beatrice too. Perhaps my interpretation isn’t completely off.
Here’s a wild theory: the Beatrice who gave Kinzo the gold is silver!Beatrice. Kinzo had a daughter with silver!Beatrice, who is gold!Beatrice. But she wasn’t told she was his daughter. The two Beatrices were growing up in Beatrice’s Mansion, but Rosa did something that led to the death of one of the Beatrices. (I’d say gold-Beatrice, because Kinzo longs to see her smile so much, but then it would be hard for gold-Beatrice to show up on Rokkenjima later and commit these murders if she’s dead.)
As if to confirm that…
Kinzo says she is the ‘Beatrice’, and ‘the master of this mansion’. Beatrice asks how long she’s been here.
At that point, meta-Battler steps in to ask if this is the story of Beatrice’s past.
This seems to mean Beatrice is not in control of the narrative ‘camera’. Which is something I’ve been wondering!
Beatrice reveals some Beatrice Childhood Facts. She was basically a prisoner under house arrest, albeit in a very posh house.
Battler says ‘what was she’, and guesses she’ll say ‘not a human but a witch’. Beatrice’s answer is interesting…
The first part is predictable. The second part totally surprised me.
It makes some sort of sense though? We know Kinzo supposedly (on the ‘witch side’) created people: Genji, Kanon and Sayo at least. And we know he supposedly ‘summoned’ Beatrice. Perhaps to summon someone, you must bind them into an existing body. Perhaps the same is true of Ronove.
Beatrice says she was a 1000-year-old Great Witch, and when Kinzo summoned her, she was bound to serve him for eternity.
Battler recalls the version of the story where Kinzo summoned her and made a contract for the gold.
So much for the ‘daughter’ theory. This leaves the question of who silver!Beatrice is.
Anyway, when Beatrice refused…
Battler, of course, refuses to believe a word of it.
We get a name for Beatrice’s Mansion:
So we can call it Kuwadorian (Nine Birds’ Retreat) from now. Battler reveals the guest house is called Toraian (Visitors’ Retreat).
Beatrice says there’s not much point explaining how she was bound in a particular body because Battler won’t believe her. Battler says he’ll reserve judgement, tell him anyway.
Beatrice explains that Kinzo shut her in this mansion to pressure her into “consenting” to marriage, and she could not escape. Her embodiment, she determined, was a problem.
Beatrice says, however, she was not a spirit, and discarding her body required similar resolve to dying.
So she didn’t want to do this rashly.
But when she turned into a soul and tried to escape, Kinzo captured her soul and bound it into a new body.
Therefore, presumably silver!Beatrice and gold!Beatrice are, at least according to meta!Beatrice’s account, the same person occupying two different bodies?
Battler insists on a mundane reinterpretation.
He declares Beatrice’s story is ridiculous, and he won’t listen to it further. Damnit Battler, I wanted to know more.
Beatrice seems unusually disappointed at this attitude, so Battler decides to ‘humour’ her. He remarks…
Oh, you had time to sample her DNA and take it to a lab to karyotype her, Battler? Incredible! :|
He patronisingly tells Beatrice to keep going. Beatrice is like, fuck you. For once, I’m with Beatrice.
Ronove tries to finish the story. Beatrice tells him to shut up.
As Battler remarks, she’s definitely worse at taking insults than dishing them out. She’s sufficiently fed up of Battler being a cock that she leaves and tells Ronove not to idly chat with him. Battler calls this her ‘confusing female short temper’, so he’s learned nothing then.
At Battler’s request, Ronove ignores the order.
He reveals that the new body Kinzo created was a baby, and he raised this child until he could ask her out again. Bloody hell that’s creepy.
However, the new Beatrice had no memories of her old life, and despite the soul of the old Beatrice, she was affected by her ‘vessel’.
Ronove says homunculus!Beatrice was identical to original!Beatrice, which would mean we still don’t know the identity of silver!Beatrice.
Battler returns to mundane interpretations. He imagines original!Beatrice really did commit suicide. He supposes that this child - homunculus!Beatrice - raised by Kinzo was not a reincarnation, but Kinzo imagined she was a reincarnation.
Battler starts to doubt that any of this story is true. Ronove interrupts, apparently divining his thoughts. He redtexts: A hidden mansion called Kuwadorian does exist in the forests of Rokkenjima.
Ronove says he is not much of a demon, but a demon nonetheless. He asks Battler to keep his deployment of red text a secret from Beatrice.
What’s his aim anyway? …and where, for that matter, are Bernkastel and Lambdadelta? Shouldn’t Bernkastel be around to talk strategy with Battler?
Battler asks if the conversation witnessed between Beatrice and Kinzo at Kuwadorian is true. Getting to the heart of the question: how far can we trust the narration?
Ronove confirms in red, in the past, the pair actually had a conversation in that place. (Which indirectly confirms this Beatrice is real.)
Battler asks if Ronove can confirm in red that homunculi are real. Ronove declines, since this would cause a stalemate, which is not allowed in Beatrice and Battler’s game. Battler questions this.
Ronove asks what Battler would do if he redtexted “witches exist”. Battler says it would be game over. However, Ronove says, without reason, Battler would probably not actually believe it on that basis.
Of course, this problem applies to any argument from redtext, doesn’t it? Ronove is suggesting Battler is faced with a choice between denying the redtext and believing in witches, he will still not believe in witches. But that applies to a list of redtexts ruling out every mundane explanation just as much as a straight-up declaration that witches exist.
But anyway, to allow the game to continue, Ronove explains there must always be room for discussion in any question he answers.
Battler tries asking about the number of people on the island. Ronove says, as furniture, he couldn’t possibly answer a question Beatrice declined. Not surprising, really.
Battler asks when this memory is taking place. Ronove says this is the world of 1967. This is more than a decade after the Korean War, so Kinzo has long had his huge fortune. It’s also 19 years before the ‘present’ on Rokkenjima.
Battler goes over the story. He decides the homunculus story likely means that original!Beatrice left behind a daughter, who Kinzo believed was her reincarnation. But then he decides this is guesswork, and the only certainty is what we know in red, which Ronove confirms: in 1967, in a hidden mansion on Rokkenjima, Beatrice existed as a human.
Battler then asks what Rosa meant. Ronove suggests they return to the narrative and pulls out a pocketwatch to ‘advance the clock’ - does that mean Ronove has some control over it?
At that moment, Lucifer appears. Battler suggests sexual objectification is his only way to deal with the Seven Sisters’ torture. :| (Edit from later Bryn: I was a lot more grumpy about this the first time through. Obviously Battler, who is reduced to a state of utter powerlessness, reaches for whatever cultural weapons he can to reassert male power; it’s not necessarily an interesting dynamic but one worth talking about in terms beyond simple ugggh men type stuff, especially since I doubt the author would think about it that way.)
What other business could Beatrice have?
Battler admits he is warming up to Ronove.
This game has so far refused to even imagine the possibility of same-gender relationships, but Battler’s relationship with Ronove is far more natural than with any female character except perhaps family members like Jessica.
Ronove leaves, and Lucifer reveals she resents being used as a mere messenger. Battler somewhat mockingly offers her a cookie, and she threatens him and demands he use her full name.
She threatens to murder him in the most innuendo-laden way possible. Battler responds in kind. Then there’s a flash of blood and an ahaha.wav so uh, Battler is dead again then?
Rosa relates the story of how she killed Beatrice. She says she was probably in middle school. Rudolf estimates this was about 20 years ago, so most likely around the time of the conversation in the garden of Kuwadorian.
So why do you treat Maria the same then, Rosa?
On the day she met Beatrice, Rosa had been harshly scolded by her mother for complaining to her tutor. For the first time, she responded by running away, trying to cross the island and escape the Ushiromiyas.
Eva can’t miss an opportunity to be pointlessly nasty.
Rosa says she wouldn’t be able to find it again. But when she’d gotten lost, she’d found a trail in the forest, and a very tall gothic fence. She decided Beatrice, the witch of the forest, would be on the other side to help her, so she began to walk the perimeter until she found a place that a tree had bent the fence.
On the other side, she made her way through more forest, and came upon Kuwadorian, with Beatrice sitting in the garden wearing a golden dress like the portrait. Beatrice asks who she is, and determines that she’s one of Kinzo’s family.
Check out that Dutch angle!
Rosa asks if she’s the witch of the forest, Beatrice, and Beatrice says she is Beatrice. Rosa says she looked just like the portrait.
Beatrice apparently believed wolves lived outside the fence, a line Kinzo also used on the siblings until Krauss wanted to pet the wolves.
They notice this ‘Beatrice’ sounds very naive. Presumably they will soon reach the ‘daughter’ conclusion.
Beatrice, apparently, asked Rosa to confirm there were no wolves outside the fence. Rosa casually mentioned a zoo, and then has to explain what a zoo is.
I have been trained by
Pavlovian conditioning listening to that song a bunch that the only answer to ‘who am I?’ is JEAN VALJEAN!!! but that aside…
Beatrice her says the line about being the soul of a great witch trapped in a non-magical human body. Rosa doesn’t pick up on this, but it’s clear that Beatrice has been fed this narrative explicitly, presumably by Kinzo. Rosa invites Beatrice to leave the fenced compound with her.
She’s keen to see the various entertainments of the capitalist world.
She decides to also drop the ‘Beatrice’ identity.
Rosa thinks that Kumasawa is probably the best person to turn to for help here, but first they must escape. They make it out of the fence without incident. Unfortunately, in the forest, Rosa is utterly lost.
They eventually reach a cliff overlooking the sea. Rosa isn’t sure exactly where, but intends to make her way around the coast until she finds the mansion. She suggests going down a slope carefully. I presume Beatrice will fall and die here.
For the time being, Rosa informs Beatrice about various kinds of sea life. In the middle of the conversation, despite Rosa’s warnings, Beatrice falls off the cliff onto sharp rocks and dies. From the narration, Rosa tried to help her and there’s no doubt she was dead.
So much for identifying her as the 19th person, indeed.
At that point, meta!Beatrice interrupts the narration to resurrect meta!Battler, who was indeed killed by Luficer.
Since this post is now very long, let’s cut it off here and see how Battler deals with this information in the new post.