Episode 4 Tea Party

.........I don't have a clue what's going on.

Please, someone explain in a way even I can understand...what happened yesterday.
In the kitchen of the mansion, I was borrowing some of the food.

If you open up that massive business-class refrigerator, you can find anything.
You can eat and drink as much as you like.

......Even if the typhoon didn't clear up for a week, I would have more than enough to eat.
With wine in one hand, I was helping myself to plain sliced ham.
I wonder just how expensive this wine and ham is.

You ingredients are out of luck too.
If only you'd had Gohda-san cook you, you could have been reborn as much more incredible food...
I looked at the clock.
Very soon, it would be 24:00.

October 5, the second day, would end.
.........The insane October 4, yesterday, seemed like a lie.

...That's how much, ......nothing had happened after my test or whatever.
Nothing happens.

No phone call comes, and no letter comes.
No person comes, and I'm not attacked by anyone.

Nothing happens at all.
I want to complain about getting the time and energy lost due to all that tension back, .........because after that, for an entire day, a full 24 hours...

......Nooothing happened.

So surely, nothing will happen anymore either.
.........A full 24 hours ago...

...I had been called to the place in front of the entrance to the mansion by Beatrice.
There, I had been given a strange test about determining the successor to the head or something.
I had given a serious answer in my own way, but it somehow hadn't meshed with the other side.
Beatrice had gotten mad for no reason and fell into silence.

I yelled at her to try and say something, but she gave no answer.
I'd asked where Maria was, but she just told me to go to the chapel, and went away.
To tell the truth, it had been an anticlimax.
......No matter what kind of weird test you give, at least tell me whether I've passed or failed.

Are you trying to say 'Good work, your results will be mailed to you later' or something?  ......Quit messing with me.
Anyways, I then headed to the chapel.
......After failing their tests, both George-aniki and Jessica had been killed.

I couldn't let Maria be killed too.

......Also, I might get a chance to catch some person trying to kill Maria.
In my younger days, I had often heard from Jessica that you would get in trouble if you got near the chapel, so I had never been there, but I at least knew where it was.
There, I could feel no one's presence, .........but there was a key bundle lying in front of the door.
I thought this might be someone telling me to open the door, but after trying all of the keys, I found that none of them fit.
I also called Maria's name, but there was no answer whatsoever.
I searched around the chapel, but there was a limit to what I could do in the pitch black with just a flashlight.
I realized that this key bundle might have a set of master keys, which could possibly open the door to the mansion.
I found no sign of Maria, so I returned to the mansion.
The mansion was wrapped in silence.
And, in a horrible stench.
However, it's amazing how good humans are at adapting.

In actuality, the inside of the mansion remained wrapped up in that smell.
However, I grew completely used to it and stopped minding it.
It didn't feel like anything more than any old house where someone had burnt some meat.
At first, I had been bewildered by the stench, but had decided to head to the dining hall for the time being, ......and found the several corpses that were so pitiful that Gohda-san and the rest had hesitated to speak of them in detail.
It was the remains of Natsuhi oba-san and the rest of those who had become the first victims.

Half of all their heads had been magnificently split open, and it was so gruesome that even without knowing a thing about autopsies, I could say that they were 100% dead...
......And on top of that, the remaining half of their faces were left like normal, so it was even easy to identify them.

...Really convenient corpses, these were.
And, it wasn't just the six bodies...they had grown in number to include one more corpse.
This seventh corpse, ............was Maria.
She lay next to Rosa oba-san, as though sleeping alongside her.
............I cried.

At the death of an innocent young girl.  And, at the cruel way my dad and the rest had died.

I raced through the mansion swinging the hat-stand spear, yelling 'Come out here, bastard'.
......But I couldn't find any sign of anyone else.
Thinking that they might be scheming to hide somewhere and attack me from behind, I went around searching for hiding places, sometimes growing more cautious, and sometimes intentionally letting my guard down in various ways, but in the end, not even a kitten appeared...
Then, morning came.

......My tension and fatigue mixed together with my drowsiness, making for the worst kind of dawn.
Humans are pretty incredible.

......Even though I didn't know whether or not a murderer was hiding somewhere, I prioritized drowsiness and fatigue over worrying for my own life.
......By that time, I was already starting to get pretty ridiculous.

For a full six hours before dawn, I had walked around the mansion, yelling at them to show themselves.
I had searched diligently, and so tired myself out, letting my guard down.
Even so, no one came to attack me.

I had been dumbfounded for a while, and had basically figured I'd let them do whatever the hell they wanted.........
The boat won't come until the typhoon passes.
They said on the TV that it won't pass until tomorrow, so I have another full day today.

Lazing about lost its interest, ......and, even though I knew it would probably make the police mad, I decided to play detective a bit.
First was the dining hall, where the very first murder had occurred.
The six who had been killed in the beginning really were unfortunate.

......The weapon was probably a gun.
Maybe their heads were split by something powerful, like a magnum bullet or a shotgun.

A valid bit of reasoning, that.
Compared to that, the seventh corpse, Maria, had died in a much better and cleaner way.
At a glance, I could see no external wounds, and didn't understand how she had been killed.

But by her mouth were traces of bubbles that she might have spat out, and it looked like a typical death by poisoning that you might see on a TV drama.
Hadn't Maria been called out to the chapel and given a test...?

......So why was she in the corpse-filled dining hall, lying next to her mother, dead......?
Even if the cause of death was poison, ......who had given it to her?
Her clothes were not disturbed at all.

It's hard to imagine that she was forcibly pushed down and given an injection of poison.

.........It's probably better to assume that she was given a capsule of poison or something and made to swallow it.
But compared to the scattered and violently mutilated corpses in this room, Maria's corpse was too clean.

If they had a gun, they only needed to pull the trigger.  But poisoning, whether by having her drink it or by an injection, would take a lot more effort.

Even considering the culprit's brutal nature, you'd think Maria's death alone was clearly given special treatment.
Why was only Maria given a sleep-like death?

.........Certainly, being killed was a pitiful thing, ......but for some reason, Maria's death alone seemed very courteous to me......
Both of Maria's hands were joined on her chest, as though the dead person had done so herself.

......Did Maria do that herself before dying......?
......Isn't this usually something done by someone else after the person dies......?
As though sleeping with her mother, whose head was half crushed, Maria dozed in peace.

......For some reason, that contrast really bugged me.
Including the cause, Maria's death is probably shrouded in mystery...
And more than anything else.

The biggest mystery of this dining hall, ......was the 'pitfalls'.
......The 'pitfalls' that both Krauss oji-san's group and Gohda-san's had mentioned.
After the six people had been killed, five more had fallen through 'pitfalls' and had been captured.

.........What are pitfalls?
Those things that suddenly open and you fall through them, right......?
The floor was firmly laid with a dignified, if a bit worn out, carpet.

......No matter how you looked at it, it was single piece.
If a pitfall had opened up, there would have to be a seam just in that place.

......And, if there had been some trick like a pitfall, wouldn't it creak when you walked on it??
No matter how much I walked around, feeling the carpet, I just couldn't imagine that a pitfall was hidden here.
In the first place, it would be one thing if a single person had fallen, but a full five people had.

......By putting together everyone's stories, each one of them had fallen from different locations, so at the very least, there had to be five separate places with pitfalls.

............So what does this mean?
Was this room actually made with pitfalls across the entire floor, so by pushing a button, you could open up a pitfall in the location of your choice, ......some kind of contraption like that??

That kind of ridiculous mechanism would be surprising even in a ninja mansion.
......But even so, if Dad and the rest had heard about this, I wonder if they would say 'I wouldn't put it past Grandfather to do it, to make it'.
......In any event, I didn't learn anything more about the dining hall.
Do the pitfalls not exist?  Or do they exist, but I just couldn't find them, amateur that I am?
I can't say for sure.

Since they claimed that the pitfalls were there, ......I can't ignore the pitfalls even if I can't find them......
The next ones to be killed were Jessica and George-aniki.

I had discovered George-aniki when I had been called out for my test.
He had been called out to the arbor in the rose garden, ......and, probably, shot in the forehead with a gun.
Jessica had been called to her own room on the second floor of the mansion.
The door to her room was locked.
But that wasn't a problem at all since I had the master key.
And inside the room, .........it was horrible.

...But since the dining hall, I was used to corpses, ......so I'd built up a bit of an immunity.
The phone receiver was loose and dangling.
......Had she been killed while on the phone with me?

Jessica was leaning against the wall right next to it, ......with half of her head split open.
As far as I could tell by looking at the scene, ......it looked as though she had been killed while on the phone.

In that case, had the culprit been there before her eyes?

.........I hadn't gotten that impression when listening to Jessica's voice over the phone.
I'm pretty sure Jessica said, ......'They got me'.

It's probably best to assume that she had already received a fatal wound at the time of the phone call.
That's right, and she also said this.

"When you come, Battler, I'll be a corpse with its head split open."  Yes, that's what she said.
.........From what I could tell by looking at Jessica's corpse, there were no wounds on her other than the damage to her head.

Could she have had an injury serious enough to make her prepared for death, and then died halfway through the phone call?
But from the way she talked on the phone, I think she had escaped harm for the time being.
You shouldn't be able to have a casual conversation over a phone if the culprit is right before your eyes.
So, did the culprit come partway through the phone call and kill Jessica......?
.........No, that can't be right.
After all, this room was locked.
......No, there's no way that would have helped.

......If the culprit had stolen a master key from one of the victims, locking the door would be pointless.
But there are no external wounds other than her head.

.........In that case, should I assume the fatal wound she was prepared to die from and the actual external wound that damaged her head were two different things, and that both of them were made to the same part of the body?
In other words, Jessica was struck severely to the head, and received an incredibly bad wound.

Then she called me, ......and either lost consciousness or died while on the phone.

Then the culprit came and damaged her head again...something like that.
After being called to this room, Jessica was attacked by the culprit and received a serious injury.

Then, the culprit thought she had been killed, and went away for the time being.
......But then Jessica miraculously started breathing again, and called me with what would become her dying message.
Then the culprit realized that they had failed in killing her, and rushed back to deliver the final blow to Jessica, who had lost consciousness from massive blood loss......

............That seems to make sense, more or less.

Except for how Jessica was able to accurately predict the form of that final blow.
And, there was one more thing that bugged me about the phone call from Jessica.
Jessica had said this...
"George nii-san is gone too.  That was an instant death."

......She had said it almost as though she had witnessed George-aniki being killed.
But while you certainly could see the rose garden from the window in Jessica's room, and you could even see the roof of the arbor where George-aniki had been called out to, .........it was very far away.

Add on the fact that it was the night of a typhoon, and it's very hard to imagine that she was able to witness everything that happened by the arbor from this window.
......And more than anything else.

Jessica had left before George-aniki.
So she shouldn't have known that George-aniki's test had taken place by the arbor.
Why did Jessica know, ......that George-aniki had been killed......?
.........Then, during my search of the entire mansion, I found Kyrie-san's corpse as well.
It was an old guest room in the depths of the first floor.

In the past, before the guesthouse had been built, the relatives had stayed here.
......The situation with Kyrie-san matched Jessica's perfectly.
She had probably been killed during her phone call with me.
The receiver was hanging untidily, ......and Kyrie-san lay in that corner.

But the way she had been killed was very different from Jessica.
Her head wasn't smashed.

......Instead, a stake with an occult-like design was buried into her forehead.

......It was so gruesome, ......so I pulled it out.
After pulling it, I realized that this might get me into trouble with the police later.
So, a little too late, I lay it by Kyrie-san's side.
Its tip was sharp, and stained with enough blood that it must have penetrated fully to the brain.

I didn't know what kind of metal it was made of, but it was about as heavy as a paperweight.

Certainly, if you were stabbed all-out with something like this, it might cause a terrible wound.
.........I...probably understood what this stake meant.

......It's one of those.

The style of killing from the fourth twilight onwards in the witch's epitaph.
......It's probably that 'gouge with a stake and kill' thing.
However, a human skull is very firm.

.........Even with all one's strength, could it be made to pierce so sharply......?
No.

......By my reasoning, this stake wasn't the cause of death, but had just been used to damage the corpse after death.
She had probably been killed by being shot with a gun or something, like George-aniki, .........and the stake had been stuck into the hole left by the gun.

......Thinking about it that way, everything works out.
But, ......was Kyrie-san really killed with a gun?
As she said on the phone, even though she was holed up inside a locked room, Kyrie-san was being attacked.
This room actually had been locked.

......And, ......she had said something about something like a golden thread flying in and attacking her.
And in fact, there were four places around Kyrie-san's corpse with holes that could have been caused by some kind of attack.

............But, ......a golden thread attacked her, .........from the keyhole...?
I looked at the door from Kyrie-san's perspective.

If it had been one of those old locks that you see in old mystery movies, where you can peek through to the other side, then you could tell that something might have been stuck through it.
But even though the doors in this mansion were old-fashioned, the locks were the familiar, average cylinder style that you could find in any normal house.

......In other words, from the way they were constructed, you couldn't penetrate through them.
So no matter how thin an object you might try to stick through the keyhole, it's unthinkable that something penetrated through from the outside and attacked.
.........A cylinder lock.

.........A keyhole.........?
And even so, Kyrie-san had definitely said that something like a golden thread had flown in through the keyhole, ......spun around aiming for her, and attacked her......

'A golden thread attacking from the keyhole'.

.........I couldn't understand what it meant at all.
But, even so.
......Kyrie-san had probably predicted that I wouldn't be able to understand all this.
And not just Kyrie-san.
Jessica had said it over the phone too.

......No, going back, even in the very beginning, from talking with Gohda-san and from the phone call with Krauss oji-san's group, everyone had said the same, consistent thing.
.........Grandfather had summoned witches and demons, and was killing people with magic.

It had truly been shown to them right before their eyes.
There was no trick or illusion.
No choice but to believe it.

......With one voice, they had all said that.
Even I, when the mystery woman calling herself Beatrice appeared, had pretty much believed that she was a real witch and might start summoning goat monsters right and left.
......However, after being left alone for a whole day, my feeling of tension had faded completely.  I could think that something so stupid definitely couldn't be true.
Did they lose their heads a little in an extraordinary situation where their lives were exposed to danger, and mistakenly think that a witch was attacking them with magic?
............But multiple people had said the same kind of thing, and on top of that, none of their opinions conflicted each other.

......If it had just been a single statement, I'd be able to suspect that they just didn't see what they thought they saw, ......but doing that now is pretty...difficult......
Then, right next to the back door, I found Krauss oji-san with his head half smashed.
......Even though he had escaped the dungeon of Kuwadorian, and somehow made it this far by a secret underground passage, ......he had been killed.
Into the gruesome cross-section of his half-crushed head, ......was buried a stake with an occult design, like the one that had been buried into Kyrie-san's forehead.

And in this situation, it was very hard to imagine that this stake was the weapon.
......He had been killed with a powerful gun like the six in the dining hall, and after death, had been stuck with a stake like Kyrie-san.
I wonder if the golden threads that Kyrie-san spoke of attacked Krauss oji-san too.

Does there exist some kind of tool, like an endoscope, which is very thin but can be moved about at will.........?

And that can also attack people......?
No way.  I've never heard of anything like that.
But even so, ......if that had been revealed to one of the relatives, perhaps they would say 'I wouldn't put it past Grandfather to make it'...
Since I can't deny the existence of golden thread X that can be moved at will and attack people, I can either accept that there's this mysterious weapon, or else, ......I will have to accept that this is a murder with magic.
To find the next corpse, I had to go out through the back door and search around outside a bit.
Behind the mansion, in the wild-grown bushes that were almost swallowed up by the forest, there was something like an old well, ......and right next to it, were Doctor Nanjo and Shannon-chan's corpses.
Both corpses had their heads smashed.
......And, while they weren't stuck in, there were stakes lying right next to each damaged head.

......Each corpse was atrocious, but having to look directly at Shannon-chan's lovely face, which was blown off, was very painful.......
Then, there was the well.

I had heard that inside it was a secret underground passage to the mysterious mansion, Kuwadorian.

...By this time, I had begun to think that Beatrice and her accomplices might have used this underground passage, and left for Kuwadorian.
Even though there seemed to be ten or more of them, I hadn't seen a trace of anyone.

......It seemed very likely that they had already escaped to a different location.
There's the typhoon.
They can't go out to sea.

It goes the same for the forest.
There's no way they could traverse such a deep, uncultivated forest on foot.
In that case, they had only one place to go.

The mysterious hidden mansion, Kuwadorian.

......The secret underground passage at the bottom of the well...!
......By this time, I had entirely lost my fear of being killed if I happened to come across the enemy.
Don't fuck with me...!

This time I'll march into your mansion...!
".........Ah......, ...wh, what the hell...?!  D, ......damn it...!!"
The old well had a firm cover on it.

The cover was an iron grill.
The gaps between the bars were perhaps 20 centimeters across.  You could peer inside, but it really wasn't something a human could pass through.
If I hadn't known better, I wouldn't have thought it anything more than a simple cover to prevent falls.

......But from what Kyrie-san had told me, I knew that it had been made to prevent intruders from entering the secret underground passage in its depths...!
But the cover was extremely firm and rigid, and no matter how much I pushed or pulled, I couldn't even get close to opening it.
I couldn't find any obvious lock.
It might be sealed by some mechanism.
But no matter how much I investigated it, I couldn't find anything to release it.

.........The biggest piece of information that Kyrie-san had gambled her last moments on trying to tell me about was the underground passage in this well...!
"Don't think I'll be stopped by something like this cover...!  I'll smash it to bits...!  I'll search for a tool...!"
I had an idea.

......Because I had seen the various tools in the gardening shed when we had locked Gohda-san and Kumasawa-san in there.
But the shutter to the gardening shed was locked.
On top of that, the key was with Gohda-san, who was dead on the inside.
......In other words, this gardening shed was a closed room.
There was no way to open it from the outside.
In that case, I have to break the shutter.
There has to be a tool for that somewhere.

......Kinda feels like I'm going in circles here.
Then, while searching for that, I learned that the source of the stench that had permeated the mansion the whole time was the underground boiler room.
The boiler room was dimly lit, humid, had a terrible stench, and on top of all that, was incredibly creepy.
But there were several large tools there, and I was able to find a fire hatchet and massive wire cutters.

And, ............Grandfather's corpse too.
No, strictly speaking, I should probably say that I found a burnt corpse of a person who was probably Grandfather.

Someone's corpse had been stuffed into the blazing fires of the boiler......
However, by coincidence, I was able to notice the number of toes on the corpse.

......Both feet had six toes.
......That's right, I probably heard from Dad some time long ago.
Something about Grandfather having polydactyly, with extra toes.
According to old Ushiromiya family tradition, it seems that those with extra fingers or toes had good fortune or something, and were treated as a good omen.

......And because of that, Grandfather was selected to be the next head or something.........
But I wonder if I can be certain this is Grandfather's body just from the number of toes.

After all, Grandfather was supposed to be the leader of the group of culprits.

I didn't have a clue why he'd be stuffed into a boiler in a place like this and die.
A mysterious corpse, burning and spitting out a terrible stench amid the flames.

......If it really was Grandfather, ............did that mean that the leader of the group of culprits wasn't Grandfather, but that Beatrice after all......?
Grandfather was used because he was convenient, and was then thrown away?

.........Unfortunately, it didn't look like I'd be given a chance to hear Grandfather's explanation...
Now that I had obtained a tool, I thought about rushing to take on the cover to the well, but I decided to break the shutter to the gardening shed first.
......I had plenty of time to kill anyways.

I thought I should check on the condition of Gohda-san and Kumasawa-san's corpses.
I hit the shutter with the hatchet, breaking into it, stuck the wire cutter into the crack, and scissored it around, opening up a hole.
Then, I faced Gohda-san and Kumasawa-san's corpses once more......
As a result, I learned of a new fact.

First, they had not died by being hung by the neck.  Both of their feet were solidly on the floor.

......And on both of their foreheads were signs that they had been shot with a gun.
The loop seemed longish for a normal noose.

On top of that, the length was different on each to match the height of each person.
In other words, the lengths had been adjusted so that both Gohda-san, who was tall, and Kumasawa-san, who was short, had their feet solidly but barely on the ground.
Also, while the ropes carried both of their weights as their heads lolled, both of them had some slack below their knees.

This meant that if they had stood up with these loops around their necks, there would be some extra length.

In other words, this loop was a bit unsuitable to hang someone with.
The direct cause of death was probably a shot to the head.

It was gruesome.  Their insides were still dripping out from that deep hole, staining their faces a deep red.

It's probably best to assume that they were then hung, pulled up, and left exposed like that.
......If they had been shot with a gun, they would probably have been lying down on the floor.

......If that had been the case, you wouldn't have been able to tell they were dead even if you peeked through the window.
The mountain of baggage would have gotten in the way, so if they had been lying down, they would have been hidden.
To make the deaths of these two known to the rest of us who couldn't go inside, they would have to hang them like this, and make it visible from the outside.

.........Was this, ......to get back at us for thinking that the two would surely be safe if we left the key with them......?
I wonder where the shutter key we gave Gohda-san, which should have ensured their safety, is now...
That key, .........was in the pocket of his trousers.
The gardening shed key had been kindly left there and even the plate was attached.

In other words, the gardening shed had been a closed room after all.
And that gave rise to another question.

......Because this can't be explained by a hanging.
If they hadn't committed suicide, then the noose was set up by the culprit.

......It might have been possible to shoot them through the window, but it's really unthinkable that someone could have tied two loops to the beam from the outside.
And furthermore, there's no way they could have lifted up the heavy corpses.
In other words, to do all of this, they would have had to go inside.
But the key was in Gohda-san's pocket, and the shutter had been locked.

In other words, the gardening shed had been a closed room.
Gohda-san had said that there was only one key for this shutter.

......But is it possible that there was a copy, ......and that the culprit was in possession of it......?
If we're allowed to theorize that there was actually a duplicate of the gardening storehouse key, and that Gohda-san just didn't know about it, then this isn't even close to a closed room.
.........But why is it that, despite the fact that almost all of the other corpses had been shot to death and left almost completely alone, these two corpses alone had been intentionally hoisted up?

I couldn't help but feel something a bit odd about that......
After this, if we assume that the mystery corpse in the boiler was Grandfather, ......the deaths of 16 people have been confirmed.
There were 18 people on this island.
I'm here, and there are 16 corpses.

Kanon-kun's corpse is the only one I haven't been able to confirm.
According to Kyrie-san, he had been killed while climbing out of the well, and had fallen down into the well.

So with the well closed up like this, it's impossible to check.
I tried shining a flashlight through the bars, down into the darkness in the depths of the well.

But it seemed that the jet-black darkness had no intention of showing me its depths with a light of that level...
It looked like I'd have to break the bars after all.

Using the hatchets and things I'd dragged from the boiler room and the gardening shed, I tried breaking the cover of the well.
But the metal bars were extraordinarily sturdy, and breaking them wasn't easy.

......I hit it with the hatchet over and over, until my hands started feeling weird, and eventually gave up on breaking them......
......It's impossible.
If they were at least wood, I might have been able to break them.

But this metal...
That's right, there's no way you can slice through metal bars like butter with a human's strength.

......I can't even begin to understand, ......that story about how Kanon-kun had cut through the metal bars.
I heard that a light like a red laser beam grew out of his arm, and that he sliced through the metal bars like he was cutting through butter.

Cutting through metal bars like butter...?
......And what's with the red laser beam.

Does that mean he had snuck in a burner or something, and used that to burn through the bars......?
Still, just what kind of laser.........could cut through metal bars like butter?

...It almost sounds like the kind of laser beam that showed up in those robot anime I'd loved as a kid, doesn't it?
Does something like that actually exist......?
And how had Kanon-kun gotten that laser beam......?
No matter how much I want to ask him, he's already been killed.

Plus, even his corpse is now in the depths of the well, beyond this cover.
If Kanon-kun could slice through metal bars, I'm sure he could handle this metal cover in a single swing.
......It kind of feels just like the closed room Gohda-san was locked in holding the key.

Only one person can open the door, but they're locked inside......
......If only I had that power of Kanon-kun's, I could do something about this cover myself..............................
Just who is Kanon-kun?

He couldn't really be, ......an inhuman being capable of using a strange power, right?

Even Kyrie-san told me to believe in witches, and I'd also met an insane woman calling herself one.
...Could Kanon-kun possibly be, ......a human on the witch's side...?

......Or else, .........the culprit?
.........What the heck.

......Am I gonna start treating him like the culprit, ...just because I can't find his corpse?
Hoh, ......treating him like the culprit because there's no corpse...?
And who was the one babbling about the suspicious being innocent......?
.........Very well, I couldn't bear having you push all the crimes on Kanon and making that into a human culprit theory.

I will guarantee it with the red...
Kanon is dead.Among the five people in Kyrie's group, he was the first to die.
In short, he was the 9th victim.
"......Since there's no corpse, ......I can't say for sure, ...that Kanon-kun is dead."
So, my whispering in red does not reach the piece you.......

.........It did reach you・・・, right.........?
At a glance, this was a mass murder due to something strange that could only be thought of as magic.

......Golden threads that attacked through key holes.

No, we even have testimony that something gold flew around the dining hall when the first six died.

The two might have been the same weapon.
Then there was the closed room murder of the garden shed, and the laser beam that could cut metal bars.

......And that wasn't all.
There was much, much more...like the group of goat monsters, the story of a witch who could create pitfalls just by snapping her fingers, the rabbit-like demons who had fired golden threads...

I think there was more, .........but each of them was all screwed up.
I couldn't possibly accept it, and was forced to suspect that it was some kind of trick or mistake.

......But why in the world had everyone spoken with one voice, saying the same thing without contradictions in their testimony...?
It's not only the magic.

Maria's mysterious death.

Why Jessica knew that George-aniki had been killed.

The mysterious burnt corpse which I couldn't confirm was really that damn geezer's.

......And more, and more.
All stuff I don't get......!
I tilted the wine bottle up and gargled.
......I don't have a clue what's going on.

After dinner last night, the kids were chased out and told to go back to the guesthouse, .........and then there was a massacre in the dining hall.
Kyrie-san and the rest were dropped through pitfalls and captured.

Then Jessica and George-aniki were called out to a test or whatever and killed.
Even though Kyrie-san's group had been able to escape the dungeon somehow, all of them had been killed in the end.

And at the very, very end, even Maria had been killed, leaving me all alone.
.........In short, I had done nothing except be locked up in the guesthouse.

During that time, a huge incident had occurred and ended.

What could I call it except incomprehensible?
I don't have a clue anymore!
"Now I'm nothing but a drunk.  You plan on leaving only me alive...?  Show yourself right away and come to kill me already.  It's too much of a pain so I won't search for you.  You show me your true form yourself......!  I won't run or hide, so come at me with arrows or bullets or whatever...!"
Since I didn't get any sleep since yesterday, I'm terribly sleepy.
You wanna kill me, go ahead.
I decided to return to the guesthouse and boldly rest on the bed.
......When I exited the kitchen and passed through the lobby, .........that portrait of the witch came into view.
The big clock did too.

......It was almost exactly 24:00.
Then, the sound of the bell rang out, proclaiming that it was 24:00......

As I listened, ......I looked up at Beatrice's portrait.
Exactly 24 hours ago, I met you.

What were you trying to say...?
And where did you go?
Just who in the world are you.........?
Golden Witch, Beatrice.

I haven't solved a single one of the riddles surrounding you......!
Show yourself...

.........And fight with me...!!
Then, ......the witch showed herself.
Like a guest of honor finally appearing, she showed herself on the landing at the top of the big staircase......
"So you finally show yourself....... ......I've been kept bored for a whole day."

"............That is correct.  I gave you a whole day.  Were you able to sufficiently exercise the rights of the human side?"

"Yeah.  I was bored.  You let me do all I wanted."

"............Ange...was a good piece."
"Don't you, ......speak Ange's name."

".........She appeared through a miracle, sacrificed herself, and gave you a tenacity for certain victory."
"Don't you...speak Ange's name."

"............That brutal death was something that you needed.  If you hadn't seen that death, you wouldn't have grown serious.  Without the wake-up call of Ange's ill-fated future, your tenacity for victory would not have been born."

"I told you not to speak Ange's name...!!"

"............In short, she was a necessary sacrifice.  Otherwise, an anger great enough to kill me would not have been born.  The rivalry between us cannot be destroyed.

Damn you Lady Bernkastel, it is more fitting to call this a trump card than a piece.  ......No matter how much a piece acts, it does not stray from the board.  But no matter how much power a trump card wields, it is always thrown away after it is used.

Ange was truly a good trump card for you."

"Don't you...speak Ange's naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammme!!!"

At Battler's angry roar, Beato finally stopped talking.

"......You know, I don't have any more spare time to be playing around in a place like this.  ......Even a tie will keep Ange waiting.  ............So, I'll break through you, ......take my family, ......and go back home!!  I won't waste a second playing witches with you!!"

"In that case, what should be done?  You know, don't you."

"Yeah!  I'll beat you down!!  I'll blast away all witches, magic, illusions and delusions!!  Alright, let's get started!!!  I won't let you trick me again!!  Resume the game, alright?  I'll tear apart the witch's veil that conceals the outright lie you are!!!"

"You talk too much.  All you have to do is honestly say 'I'll kill you'."

"Yeah.  If those are the words you want, ......I'll say them.  This is the first and last wish of yours that I'll lend an ear to."
"............I thank you."

"I'll, ............, "
"........................"
"Very well!!  Let us begin, Battler...!!  Come, it is time for the witch hunt...!!  Try and chase me, try and corner me, try and kill me!  I'm expecting a lot from you!!  Try and show me what your little sister gave you in her last moments...!!"

"Bring it oooooooooooooooooooooonnn!!!"
......Battler's cry burned the world with a white light.

And, if you opened your eyes amidst the darkness, ......the two of them could be seen in a rose garden......
".........Who takes the first move?"
"Me."

"How brave."
The rose garden, where beautiful rose petals danced.

The color of those rose petals...was red.
So was the fact that the two of them faced each other in this beautiful rose garden...either proof or a protest for a single, red truth?

.........Then the roses are surely...red.
But in the language of flowers...roses are passion.

......Not truth.

The flower for truth is a forget-me-not.

That flower, ......is blue.
"I'll bore through everything with my blue truth.  .........From the very beginning of everything.  I'll start from the very first game!"
"Very well.  I shall witness your skill.  ...Come."

"Here I go.........  I've already proclaimed it, but I'll say it again.  ......This isn't just for the murder of Doctor Nanjo in the last game.  This will tear apart every scene from every game since the beginning...!!
Ushiromiya Kinzo is already dead!  So the true number of people on the island is 17!  By adding in an unknown person X, that makes 18 people.  By supposing the existence of this person X, the crime is possible even if all 17 people have alibis.  By this, even though the number of people reaches 18, it is still possible for culprit X to exist and carry out the crime even if all 18 people seem to have alibis!!"
You can break through all of the murders in Episode 1 by supposing an unknown person X.
Furthermore, it is even possible to explain the mystery of Kinzo's evaporation from the closed room sealed by the receipt...by making the bold assumption that Kinzo wasn't there from the beginning.
Unless Beato countered this with the red truth, the Illusion of the Witch from Episode 1 had been completely smashed.

.........The blue truth is effective.
The wedge of blue truth that Battler had thrown stabbed right through the top of Beato's left foot.

......Was the red blood that poured out from there a protest of her red truth...?
Beato shut one of her eyes tight, enduring the unbearable pain from the blue truth that denied her.
"Hmm, not bad.  ......But I must not be denied yet, I must not be killed yet.  ......That is not yet enough.  .........There were mysteries that couldn't be explained with that alone in the following games, right?"
"......Which mystery?"

"In the final stages of the second game.  George took Gohda and Shannon with him, barricaded them in Natsuhi's room, and was killed.  The key that could unlock Natsuhi's room was locked up inside the room, and all of the remaining keys that could unlock the door were in Rosa's hand.  Even if culprit X existed, it should be impossible to construct a closed room."

The blue wedge that pierced Beato shook.
She was resisting, fighting to pull it out.

"No, that doesn't shake my blue truth.  If culprit X were to obtain a master key, that's not even close to a closed room."

"No, it was impossible for the culprit to obtain one.  All of the master keys were under Rosa's control!"

"But that's meaningless if Rosa oba-san was the culprit!  Rosa oba-san handed a key over to culprit X by some method, assisting in the closed room murder!  And after that, she retrieved the key by a similar method!  Too naive, Beato!!  I'd already guessed that much at the time!"

"......*cackle*..., too true.........Gwaaargh...!!!  .........Agh, ......ack-"
The wedge that had been gradually losing its sparkle, and had seemed as though it was about to be pulled out, regained its strong blue again thanks to Battler's additional blue truth, and dug into Beato again, eating into her foot.
Beato let out a cry of anguish at that pain.
".........guh, ......ohh...............Not yet...  I can still bear it......Not yet, .........not yeeeeeeeet!!"
"Continuing on to the third game.  The six linked closed rooms, the murders of Rosa oba-san and Maria, Dad and the rest's deaths in the hall, the murders of Krauss oji-san and Natsuhi oba-san...all of that can be explained if we suppose that Eva oba-san was the culprit.
This argument was already won back then.  And even that final riddle you proposed through EVA, the murder of Doctor Nanjo, can be explained with an 18th unknown person X.  This way, I've broken through the entire third game!!!  Can you counter that?!"

"Guh, aah...!!  ......O, of course......!  This much is, ......nothing to worry about......!  In that case, how do you explain George's disappearance from the guesthouse?  I shall add to the red truth.  George did not go down the stairs of the guesthouse.  He flew out through the window!"
In the final stages of the third game, George had suddenly vanished from the second floor of the guesthouse.
Eva, who had been on the first floor, had claimed that no one had come downstairs, but according to the blue truth, there was the possibility that George had secretly gone down to the first floor and escaped during the gap in time where Eva had carried Krauss and Natsuhi's corpses outside.
But by adding on to the red truth, Beato had denied that.

To go outside without going down the staircase to the first floor, he would've had to leave by the window.  But all of the windows had been locked from the inside...!
"So what then.  It's just like you said.  He flew out the window, right?  There was a lawn, so we couldn't tell if he'd jumped down, and it was raining so hard.  Any light traces would have disappeared."

"I will repeat the red truth.  All windows and doors leading to the outside were locked from the inside.  Furthermore, it is impossible to lock any of those from the outside!  George had no technique by which to lock them...!"
"I will repeat the blue truth.  I said it myself at the time.  In that case, everything works out as long as someone locked the window after George-aniki escaped through it!  Nothing difficult about that!!"
"Gwaaaaaaaahhaaaaah...!!  Gguuuuhhh......, can I not, ......escape after something like this......?"
Beato couldn't remove the blue wedge that was buried into her foot.
The fake witch was burned more and more by the strong blue......
"Up until the third game, there is still nothing that shakes the blue truth.  ......In that case, the only game that can prove you're a witch, ......is this game, the fourth game."
"......As long as I do not counter with the red truth, that may be the case.  I will have to prove witches with only this game.  .........Very well.  Come as hard as you want."
"There's nothing strange about the murder of the six people in the dining hall.  The 18th person X went wild with a gun and killed everyone.  Regarding the pitfalls, there is a chance that pitfalls truly were hidden there, and it's possible to explain by Kyrie-san's theory, supposing that poison dart-shooting device X which can knock a person out instantly exists.  The murders of George-aniki, Jessica, and those who escaped from the dungeon can also be explained with guns, just like the dining hall.  There's nothing strange about it!
But I'm sure you've got a counterattack, right?  Bring it on!!"
"Your greatest sword, this 18th person X, is based on the theory that Kinzo was already dead.  I had known that you would make that claim.  That's why I took Kinzo out of his study.  All members in the family conference welcomed that Kinzo, right?  All of those who met at the family conference recognized the existence of Kinzo!"

"That's right.  But Grandfather had become seriously ill, sleeping on the verge of life and death, right?  Even if he was so worn out that he looked like a different person, maybe no one would have minded, right?

I'll come back with this.  That Grandfather was a different person, a body double.  A different person who the relatives mistook for Grandfather!"

"Then I'll come back at you with this.  No person would mistake Ushiromiya Kinzo by sight.  No matter what the disguise, they would not mistake Ushiromiya Kinzo!"
"Then I'll return with this.  By proclaiming with the red truth in the second game that the true number of master keys was five, when in the first game the number could have been more than five, you changed the premises of the later games.  In the same way, there is a possibility that Kinzo's life or death status was changed for the 4th game.
Therefore, Kinzo's existence in the fourth game does not serve as proof that he existed in the previous games...!  Therefore, even if we suppose that the six murders in the dining hall were carried out by Grandfather, it doesn't create any contradictions!"

"Then I'll counter with this.  Kinzo's life or death status is the same at the start of each of the four games.  The setup was not different for the fourth game alone...!"
"Repeat it.  'Kinzo was alive at the start time of every game'!"
"I refuse to repeat it.  I won't answer, Battler.  I will not respond with the red truth you desire...!"
"......Damn, ......geezer, you're standing in my way...!!  Are you putting yourself on the line to protect Beatrice, this most beloved witch of yours?!"

Swaying, that damn geezer showed himself.

......Heh, is he trying to be some kind of knight, blocking the way to Beato behind his back...!

"*cackle*cackle*cackle*, Battler.  Are you capable of surpassing me...?

I won't let you reach, I will not let you reach, ......not to the Golden Witch's height, you seeeeeeeeee?!  Fuhhahahahahahahahahaha!!  Your thoughtless reasoning cannot surpass even me alone!  Die!!!"
Kinzo's jet-black robe spread as though it would swallow the world, becoming the snout of a vast black dragon which came at me, trying to swallow me in one gulp.

......In front of that black dragon's roar, I calmed my breathing and closed my eyes lightly......
"I'll swallow you up in a single gulp!!  Disappear, inexperienced fooooooooooool!!!"
".........Be quiet, you damn undying ghost."

"Hoh, so you call me a ghost.  So, you intend to see it through to the end, this theory that I am already dead!!  That will prove fatal to you!!  Be swallowed up by the first twilight of the fourth game and disappear!!"
The black dragon's vast mouth, its snout, its fangs...swallowed Battler whole...!!!
In that instant, Battler suddenly opened his eyes!
"Thanks, Beatrice.  Your third game became a foothold for my counterattack."
"What...?"

"See ya, damn geezer.  This is goodbye.  .........As a basis for claiming the 'Kinzo was dead' theory for even the 4th game, I lay out the following theory!"
"Very well, come with all you have, my descendant!!
"Here I go, you damn geezer!!  My theory is that Kinzo's name is passed on as the title of the Ushiromiya family head!  Ushiromiya Kinzo was already dead.  And he passed 'that name' on to someone else!  Everyone acknowledged that!!  That way, 'All of those who met at the family conference recognized the existence of Kinzo'!!
There wasn't even any need to disguise themselves as Grandfather.  Because everyone recognized a new 'Kinzo'!  Therefore, 'they didn't actually mistake Kinzo by sight'!!  As long as the preceding theory is not denied, nothing can change the fact that you are dead!!!
This is the final blow.  Damn geezer, I demand that you repeat it.  'Among all of the people there, not one had multiple, different names'!!"
"I, ...can...not............!!  Gah, gwoooooooooooooooooooragghgghghh!!"
"Rest in peace, damn geezer.  Thank me.  You were finally able to die.  This is your requiem, take it and drop dead!!
Ushiromiya Kinzo was already dead!  That's right, you sure are pitiable, since whenever we find your corpse, it's always completely burnt.  That was a device to make it so that no one noticed the fact that time had passed since your death!!  And you passed that name on to someone else!!  With the previous theory, even though 'you' were dead, 'Kinzo' was able to appear at the family conference!!!
How's that?  This is checkmaaaaaaaaaaaate!!"
Several dozen blue stakes bored into Kinzo's ghost.
Their terrible destructive power wouldn't let the ghost recover again......!!
"......Be, ......atr...ice........."
".........Kinzo...  Thank you for everything.  ......Sleep, ...in peace......  I will not forget, ......my time spent with you........."
Dispersing along with the shadow of the black dragon as golden flower petals scattered, ......Ushiromiya Kinzo became a gold-colored cyclone and disappeared......

Even after death, he had fought for the sake of the woman he had loved.

......Your love and madness are, without a doubt, the real thing......!
".........kk, .........Battler........."

"Don't hate me.  ......Let the dead sleep.  Don't wake them.  ......You're going to be next.  And you'll be the last."

Beato still couldn't pull out the blue wedge that pierced her foot...
Beato realized that she was on the verge of death...

"I've gone along with you a whole bunch.  I think I've more than fulfilled any responsibility to play with you.  ......But it's about time to finish things up.  I've got a lonely little sister waiting at home.

......Let me take my leave with my whole family...!!"
"......Then kill.  ......In that case, try and kill me!  ......I won't run or hide, by now I won't even be able to avoid it!!  Come ooooooooooooooooooooooon, Ushiromiya Battleeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!"
"You got it!!  With the 18th person X from the 'Kinzo was dead' theory, everything remaining is pierced through!
George-aniki and Jessica's deaths in the fourth game can also be explained by culprit X!!  And the five who escaped from the dungeon and were killed, and the two in the gardening shed, and Maria in the end!  All of those can be explained with 18th person X!!  There's nothing strange at all!!
With this, the explanation of the culprit with humans is complete for all games!!  Beatrice, ......this here is...checkmaaaaaaaaaaaate!!"
"Uu, ......whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh... ...aah...h-"
Beatrice, who could not dodge, had several blue stakes driven into her, and was skewered......

Beato grabbed the stakes, trying to pull them out somehow...
.........Aaaaaaahhhh, ......that got meee......, .........it huurts.........

...This'll, .........kill me, won't it.........
......If I don't pull these out, .........I'll die......

I hate the pain......, ......I hate, .........the......anguish.........
With both hands, ......Beato firmly grasped one of the blue stakes.
......Naturally, the power of the blue truth which denied witches burned her hands.

...Unable even to hide her tears at the pain, Beato howled and tried to pull the stakes out with all her might......
If I can't pull these out, .........I'll die.........

......This is, .........the final counterattack............
"Then Battler............My several bits of magic, .........how do you explain those......?  .........The very first time they appeared, ......was in the second game, when I fixed Maria's pumpkin marshmallow.  At that time, Rosa definitely witnessed that magic."
Certainly, at that time, Rosa had witnessed gold butterflies gathering, and the fixing of a marshmallow by the miracle of magic.
"......*cackle*cackle*.........Rosa alone witnessing it isn't very credible, right...?  That's why I increased the number of witnesses to the uppermost limit.  ......Which is what, ......happened in this last game......
The summoning of my family!  And brutal murders due to magic!  All of those were witnessed by a great many people...!!  That is itself......, proof that my magic exists...!!
How do you explain that, Ushiromiya Battleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerr.........!!!"

".........Stalemate."
"............Wh, ......whaat......?"

"'Magic exists because magic exists'.  I believe the rules of our Braun tube trial say that that kind of argument doesn't work."

".........Y, ......es...you're right...............Heh, .........hahack, ...guh..."

"No matter who or how many people witnessed magic that cannot become proof of magic's existence!!

Whether all the magic you've shown exists or not, I can ignore it all and explain things with humans.  That's my undeniable right.  ......Am I wrong?"
At those words, the blue stakes let out an even brighter light, knocking my hands away.

......Seems I can't, .........pull them out after all........., ............ggghh.........
As Battler is now, even if I pull up a witness for each individual bit of magic and demand an explanation, he would probably use some kind of move to deny all of them.

......Not just the magic with the marshmallow I showed Rosa, ...but all of the miracles of magic.
So, I can no longer even claim to be a witch without questioning him about how something like a marshmallow was fixed...

It's such an inferior position that I must fight over such trivialities......
It might be, .........impossible for me.........
......I know that...

This was a game without victory from the very beginning.
...So, it was only natural that the day of my defeat would eventually come.
Have I fought, up until today, .........just to lose to Battler.........?
.........I had begun the game, ...thinking I might be able to win.

Even if I wouldn't be able to win easily, I believed that in a game repeating endlessly, a miracle would eventually occur.

......After all, I had a certain determination to certainly win.
......However, by now I have completely lost that miracle.
And, the certain determination resides in Battler, ......leaving me certainly without even a one-in-a-million miracle.

No, perhaps I should say without a miracle

or・・ certainty......
No victory, and no conclusion with a tie.

......The only resolution permitted, ......is to continue on resisting, .........until defeat is given to me, ......in this game......
That's right, I, .........am fighting, .........only to be killed by Battler.........
......I looked into Battler's eyes.
That which was inside them...wasn't me.

.........The figures of the little sister waiting for his return, ...and the family he had to take back were reflected in those eyes.
To him, my existence is already, ......not even that of an individual.

...Obviously.  From the very beginning, he has been trying to deny the individual that is me.

.........Ooh, ...that last game, ...sure was interesting......

I'd only been tricking him a bit, ......but for even just a short period of time, it felt like we understood each other, ......and it was interesting......

......That's right, ......I should have struck a bargain there...
I should have continued for eternity with Battler totally fooled...
............But, .........that's just no good, is it...

.........That, ...just wouldn't be true victory.........
"............Is this, ......checkmate?  Beatrice?"
Beato had been run through with several blue stakes, skewered over and over to the ground while still standing.

Because of that, she wasn't even able to fall over, .........and, still looking up into the sky, ......was sewn in place......
That tragic form, ......might have been a fitting end for the cruel witch who had endlessly toyed with 18 people's lives and who had killed constantly for hundreds and thousands of years.
Gently, ......as though someone was mourning for something...rain began to fall.
......Amid that rain, Beato was soaked, ......and crucified......
"......Is it over, Beato?"
"............Can't, .........even let out a squeak........."
"Not yet.  You aren't a woman who'll let things end with just this."
".............................Don't be, ..........ridiculous...............How can you look at this, .........and think that it isn't, .........over......?  ......Quickly, deliver the final blow........."
"........................"

"...Just say it.  ...With your...blue truth.  ............'According to this, ......witches do not exist', ...say it...............Just say it...............With that single blow, ......just put a stop, ............to my breathing........."

"It's useless."

"............Hoh...............So you would expose me, ......to ridicule, .........even more than this...  Isn't it settled already......"

"Stand up.  Our brawl still isn't over."

"............Still, ......you say........."

"That just now wasn't you losing.  You just stopped and gave up."

".........Isn't that...good enough............Wouldn't giving up.........mean your victory?  .........You should, ......return to your little sister, ...right away......  Just throw me away, .........right here........."

"Didn't I tell you?  I won't run away.  And, I won't let you run away."
"........................"

"What kind of person are you?  And what in the world is it that you want?"

If you want to know, ......why don't you just try your favorite move......?

"............Isn't it alright this way...?  ...Just, ......a delusion, ......an illusion......  Isn't that, ......good enough......?"

"It's all useless.  I won't...let you run away."
"........................"

"I'll break through you.  How could I let you run away like this?"
"........................"

"I won't let you run back to the darkness of illusions while you're still all vague like this.  .........I'll break through you.  Completely.  So stand up.  Don't act all frail like that!  You're still hiding several moves!  I can tell!"

"...............Why, ......won't you just let me escape......?"

"Dad, Mom, and Ange.  All of the cousins and all of the relatives.  And all of the servants.  You toyed with them so much and killed them...!!  I definitely won't forget, won't forgive that inhumanity!

I can still feel, ......Ange's arms on my shoulders...!!  I won't forgive your inhumanity...!!  So I won't let you get away like this...!!!"

Battler's eyes burned with the flames of hatred...

......The time had long since passed during which pitiful behavior would have earned his compassion.
......After being tricked once, Battler will never sympathize with me again.
Instead of the wolves and sheep puzzle, .........this is like the boy who cried wolf, isn't it............

.........What am I supposed to do.........?  .........What should I do............?
......Is fighting endlessly only to avoid admitting defeat, ......also a fitting endless torture for the Endless Witch?

............Is endlessly harassing Battler so as to avoid giving him victory...also part of being the Endless Witch.........?
............It's so sad......

.........Is this, .........what the Endless Magic is.........?
I've, .........had enough.........

I've, .........had enough, .........of endlessly being made a toy, ......of witches......
No victory, and no conclusion with a tie.

......In that case, there is only one result that can release me.

......Hmph, ......hahahahahahaha......
Since the time I sank to the path of witches.
Since the day I made that contract with demons.

.........It was promised that, through tragedy, I would meet my end, was it not.........?
"What's wrong!!  Golden Witch, Beatrice!!  If you are the controller of Rokkenjima, show me the dignity fitting for that until the very eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennndddd!!!"
Lightning.

......The world was smashed with white.

.........Fitting last moments...for the controller of Rokkenjima.

Haha, .........hahhahahahaha hahahaha.........

"Hahhahahahahaha......, wahhahhahhahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...!!!"
"....................."

Still pierced by the blue stakes, ......Beato faced the rainy sky, and let out a cry of laughter.
Then she slowly raised her face, ......and stared at Battler.

".........Fool.  ......Just when I was about to praise your good fight and hand over victory............You shall regret your pride......"

"That's not something for you to hand over.  I'm gonna take it from you!!  It goes the same for you, right?!!  Isn't the fact that you couldn't accept an easygoing style of victory where I say 'Maybe it's alright for witches to exist' or something the very reason that you intentionally fell apart like that in the end last time...?!!!  That's right, last game, I received your sympathy that one time, didn't I?!!"

So now I'll pay back that debt!  Stand!!!  My enemy, my Golden Witch, Beatrice!!!"

"Hahhahaha......  Fool.
.........You foooooooooooool, hhahhahahahahahahahahahaha!!  You simpleton...!!  You think you'll get another chance?!  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!"
When Beato yelled, the blue stakes that had pierced her chest blew to bits and disappeared.

......However, the blue wedge that had pierced her foot in the very beginning did not disappear.
"You can't pull it out yet.  You can't pull out the blue truth of the 18th person X...!!"
"I will answer to one thing you told me to repeat.  As you reasoned, Kinzo is already dead at the starting time for all games!    However, this means that you can take one person out!!  Before now, I have proclaimed that no more than 18 humans exist on this island.  I will lower that by one for Kinzo!!
No more than 17 humans exist on this island!!  That excludes any 18th person.  In short, this 18th person X does not exist!!  This applies to all games!!!"
"What do you know.  Looks like you're still hiding some pretty crazy stuff up your sleeve after all......  The island, which had no more than 17 humans on it, has been set up to appear as though there were 18.  Taking one off makes it 17, so we've finally reached the correct number.  .........This way, the wedge I knocked into you has been removed.  We'll have to start the fight over, back from square one...!"
The blue wedge that had sewn Beato in place broke apart.
.........There was no longer anything piercing Beato.
The scars on her body had disappeared completely.

There stood...just as Battler had hoped for, ......the figure of the dignified Golden Witch who controlled Rokkenjima.
"......Then come, Battler.  Once more from the beginning.  Try and break through everything with the blue truth.  I too will no longer play, run, or hide.
If you are worthless, then I shall decide this match right here, right now.  With my grand victory, I will make you regret the fact that you didn't compromise for all eternity!!!  Come, starting from the first game!"
"Right!!  From the first twilight of the first game!!  There is nothing strange about the murder of the six relatives that were found in the gardening shed in the beginning!  The crime was possible for any of those who didn't have an alibi!!"
"Effective.  Continue, what about the next closed room murder, with Eva and Hideyoshi!?  Even the chain was set for that closed room!  I shall add to the red truth.  Both were killed by another person!  It is not the case that, after the construction of the closed room, one of them committed suicide after committing murder!  Furthermore, the murder was carried out with both the victim and the perpetrator in the same room!  No method exists for the perpetrator to commit murder from outside the room!"

"Suppose that the culprit was a human without an alibi.  In other words, the dead!  Among the first six corpses, there were some made unidentifiable because their faces were smashed.  One possible theory is that one was actually a fake corpse, and that the culprit X killed those two after pretending to be a victim and hiding away!  Then after the closed room murder was constructed, the culprit hid under the bed, and waited for all of us to leave!!"
"Very well, next!  Kanon was killed in the boiler room, correct?  I shall add to the red truth.  All of the survivors have alibis!  Let us include the dead as well!!  In short, no kind of human or dead person on the island could have killed Kanon!"
"If no one could kill him, then he might have been the one to kill!!  Meaning Kanon-kun might have killed himself.
Repeat it!  'Kanon-kun did not commit suicide'!"
"Kanon did not commit suicide."

"One more.  Repeat it, 'Kanon-kun's death was a homicide'."
"I refuse to repeat it."
"By that refusal, it may be possible to view it as a homicide, but you've already proclaimed in red that no one could have killed him.  In other words, it wasn't a homicide.  This is the same as the linked closed rooms from the third game.
Kanon-kun died for a reason that was neither suicide nor homicide.  The details are unknown, but he died from an accident.
Due to the Devil's Proof, I refuse to explain what kind of blunder could have led to an accidental death where a stake was driven into his chest!!"
"Hohoh, now that you have borrowed the power of the devil you are without peer!  It is effective!
In that case, what about the murders after that in the parlor, of Genji, Nanjo, and Kumasawa?!  Naturally, Maria, who was in the same room, did not kill them!  And of course, the three were killed by other people!"
"We can explain the one who performed the murder with culprit X, who hid away using an unidentified corpse.  In the first place, their three faces were also smashed.  It's completely possible that one of them was a body-double corpse!"
"Regarding unidentified corpses, all of their identities are guaranteed.  Therefore, no body double tricks exist!"

"Then you can explain it with simultaneous murders.  Each of them had a gun, pointed it clockwise, and blew each others' faces off at the same time!  After that, Maria collected those guns and hid them!!  How about that?!!!"
"Wh, ......what a ridiculous argument!!!  I, I like it...!!  Then what about Natsuhi in the end?!
I shall add to the red truth!  Natsuhi was killed by another person!  There are no unidentified corpses, and all of the survivors have alibis!"

"You can explain it with an indirect murder due to trap X!  Something was done to Natsuhi oba-san's gun.  You can explain it if that was a trap gun, built to send a bullet right into the forehead of anyone who tried to hold it up and shoot it!!"

"The bullet buried into Natsuhi's forehead was not fired from Natsuhi's gun!"

"There is the possibility that Natsuhi oba-san was lured out by that letter of unknown contents!  And she was called out into the hall.  Then, she was forced into standing at a specified location at a specified time and murdered by trap X, which used a gun that had been installed there beforehand!!"

"Wonderful!!  Your reckless arguments even feel pleasant now!  Out of respect, I shall hand the first game over to you...!!  Well done!!  ............Gaaaah!!!"
The instant Beato acknowledged her defeat in the first game, the stakes of the blue truth once again pierced her chest, letting out a terrible sound...
"......Ku, ......gwah, ............gaaaaaahhh!!!  This is still, bearable, ......it's not over yet!!  Come, now for the second game!!"
Beato just barely pulled the stakes that had pierced her chest out, ......but even though there was no hole left behind, it seemed to be a deep wound which let out a massive amount of blood.

And, she was tormented with an equally fierce pain...
But Beato grinned, grinding her teeth, and pushed for the next game to start.
But I won't feel compassion.

......Just by her existing there, we've been killed and harassed over and over, .........and Ange's been burdened with a future of isolation...!!
"That is correct, just by my being here and laughing, the eternal hell will continue...!!  I won't give your little sister back...!  She can cry over the family that will not return for the next thousand years...!!"

"Damn iiiiiiiiiittt!!  No compassion, no mercy!  Here goes the second game!!  I'll start with the first crime!  At the time, I had already seen through the closed room murder where the six were killed in the chapel.  Someone secretly borrowed Maria's key, and secretly returned it to Maria's bag after the crime was over!!"

"Starting when Maria's key was received, and until the instant Rosa unsealed it the next day, it passed through no one's hands!!"

"There is the possibility that the door had an auto-lock just like Gramps' study.  In other words, it was unlocked before the crime, with a rock or something wedged in so that it couldn't close completely.  Then they gave the key to Maria.  Because the lock was automatic, it is possible to make a theory where the key wasn't needed!"

"No door with an auto-lock exists other than Kinzo's study!"

"The victims locked the door from the inside.  One of the six was the culprit, and this person killed the other five, then pretended to be dead!!"

"The six people were already dead by the time they were discovered!  All were killed by other people!  All six were genuine victims, and did not take part in a mutual murder!  There was no simultaneous murder!!"

"A human, perhaps Kumasawa-san, existed with no alibi at the time.  If we assume that someone was hiding on the inside, then there are no problems!"

"There was no one hiding in the chapel.  By this, a shut-in murder like you say does not work!  What's wrong, Ushiromiya Battleer, is that all?!  It's not so easy once you get to the second game, riiiight?!"
A tremendous exchange of red and blue truth.

The stakes and wedges of blue truth that I sent flying attacked one after the other, and Beato cut them down one after another with her red truth, her red treasured sword, knocking them down.
But the blood she had lost from the first game was probably awful.
This intense exercise was putting an even greater strain on her.
I could also see her breath grow ragged.

That's why I can't hold back now!
......I'll corner that witch!
This time I'll break through her!
"Not yet, aah, it's useless, it's all useless!!  My twisted logic isn't finished yet!!  Then what about this!!
The food they were given had small bombs in it, which exploded from inside their stomachs.  In other words, the crime is possible through trap X!  The details of a bomb that they could swallow without noticing and that could blow open their stomachs is a Devil's Proof!  I refuse to explain!!"
"Buh, hhahahahahahahhahahahhaha!!  What the hell's thaaaaaaaaat?!  Small bommmmmmmbs?!  Waahhahahahahhahhahha!!"

But Beato failed to knock down the blue wedge as it flew at an angle like a breaking pitch.
It let out a loud *thunk*, and gouged itself deeply into her left shoulder.
However, it seemed that even as the breaking pitch hit her, she didn't stop laughing.
......Yeah, that's right, I also think this is probably some pretty screwed up reasoning...!!
"Ha, laugh as much as you want!!  Got a problem with that?!!"
"None!!  That reckless argument is just pleasant!!!  Next is the closed room with Jessica and Kanon!"

"No problems there!  If the culprit was one of the servants, they could have used a master key.  It's not even a closed room!"

"After that, there was an attack in the servants' room from a mystery person who seemed to be Kanon, and Nanjo and Kumasawa were killed, right?!  I had already proclaimed Kanon's death in red before that time.  Then who was that Kanon?!"

"If Kanon-kun's death was proclaimed with the red, there's no way he was alive.  Therefore, there is a chance that the one who attacked that group was in a disguise to make the group mistake them for Kanon-kun!"

"They definitely would not mistake any different person for Kanon!"
"Then, just like the heredity of Kinzo's name, there is a possibility that Kanon's name was inherited by someone.  You could suppose that Kanon-kun was killed, a different person succeeded that name, and that this person attacked them!!"
A sound like a watermelon being squashed rang out, and a blue wedge was buried deep into Beato's left flank...
Perhaps because the positioning was bad, it looked like it was very effective.

After leaning over and moaning for a while, ......she laughed it off as though trying to make it seem like no big deal.
Yeah, I get it.
That must have hurt a lot...!!
"Hyahhaaaaaaaahhh!!  Once again, you've set up some human as the culprit as if it were nothing!!  You truly are gabbing on about things you would never be able to open your mouth and say on the game board!!
But it is effective!  That reckless argument is pleasant!!  ......Just pleasant.  .........This isn't pain, ......it's pleasaaaant!!"
When Beato howled, the wedge that had pierced her was blasted away.
But the wound remained, and she was still tormented by a fierce pain.
"You ready?  I'll keep going.  The blue text should already be effective against the last murder in the second game, the three who died in Natsuhi oba-san's room, even with the 18th person X denied!  Do you have a counter-argument for that in red?!  If you can't, the second game is all mine too!"

"No, I don't!!  Fighting over such trivial matters is boring!!  I'll give it to you, I'll give you the second game!!  Gwaaaaaaaaagghghh!!!!  .........ff, ......gwooooooooooohhhh..........!!"
The instant she acknowledged her loss in the second game, this time two blue stakes gouged through Beato's chest...!

The witch's lungs were gouged, and her intestines.
The witch's face twisted in anguish.
Her body twisted as she gasped in pain.
"Does it hurt......?"
"Huuuuurt?  ......No, no, this just tickles.  Uhhyahhyahyahyahhyaaaaaaahhh!!  Compared to having your entire body torn to bits and turned into a pile of scrap meat, like your sister, riiiiiiiiiiight?!  I'll make you scrap meat too, then the siblings can be all mixed together like ground beef and pork, aaakkyakkyakkyaaaaaaaahhh!!"

"Ahh, ......aaaaaarrrrrrrrggggh!!  I'll beat you to death, I'll tear you to bits the same way!!  Next!  The third game!!  How long are you going to sit around?!!  This is where I'll knock you down to hell!!"

"......Guh......, gah, ......whoooooaagghhh!!  Naturally, how could I sit around due to the likes of this?!

Yes.  There's still much more!  Come, let us begin the third game, starting with the first six linked closed rooms!  By all rights, you should have penetrated this closed room at the time.

But then you killed off Kinzo・・・・・・・...!!"
At the time, I had supposed that Gramps was the culprit, and that after killing the other five and stringing the keys across each room, he had constructed his own closed room in the boiler room...

...And that there, he had died in an accident in the middle of carrying out some kind of scheme, burning to death in the boiler.
But I've already proclaimed that Gramps was already dead.
So I've denied my own theory.  The irony...!

However-
"There's no problem!  There are plenty of people who could have committed the crime besides Gramps!  You could even claim that all of the adults who were there throughout the family conference were in on the crime!"
"All five master keys were discovered, each in the pocket of one of the servants!  The individual keys were found inside envelopes alongside the corpses!  In short, all keys related to the linked closed rooms were locked inside the linked closed rooms!!  The keys cannot be returned from outside the room using the crack of the door, the crack of the window, vents or any place of the sort!!"
"Then they were killed with poison gas!  Even if a key couldn't pass through, gas could, right?!  The murder was carried out from outside the closed room!!"

"All of them had wounds resembling gunshot wounds which became fatal!  It is impossible for the murder to have taken place from outside the room!!  I shall say more with the red!  When the five other than Kinzo were murdered, the murderer was definitely in the same room!  I already proclaimed in red at the time that there were no suicides!!"

"After the murder of each person in their respective rooms, the culprit created a linked closed room.  But the culprit just couldn't return the key for the last room to the inside of that closed room no matter what they did.  But they were able to return it.  The first person to discover a corpse just had to pretend to find the key and show that they'd pulled it from the pocket of one of the corpses!!"
She couldn't fully block the retort of that blue stake...!
Beato was pushed back by the blue wedges that were unleashed on her one after another, finally failed to block one, and once again took a severe wound.
"Gi, gigi, ......gyaaaaaahhh!!"
As she howled in pain, she pulled out the blue wedge that had pierced her right arm.
......Beato's entire body had been torn apart and pierced with blue wedges, stakes, and blades, over and over again, and now her whole body was covered in blood.
But even so, Beato grinned.
Cackling as though this was enjoyable...!
"Fuhhahhahhaaaaaaahhh!!  How could a man who promised to bring Ange her parents home speak of a theory where those parents are the culprit?
Just fine, even so, it's just fiine, alriiiiiiiight?  You can be a big, happy family getting their hands dirty with mass murder, and return to Ange stained with blood that will never come oooooooooff!!  Isn't that perfectly fitting for the survivors of the witch's islaaaaaaaaaand?  Just like that mincemeat Angeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehyahhaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!"
"Aaaaaarrrrgggghhh, shut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupp!!  I'll kill you!!  I'll tear you apart!!  No need to beg for your life, I'll definitely give you the worst kind of death by my own hands!!"

"Yes, you probably could do it...!!  I, who have explored the depths of cruelty over a thousand years, will probably be given a fitting end for that...!!

Ooh, does that hurt?  Is it harsh?  Or does it just ticckklllllleee?!

Is that supposed to torment me, come on, Ushiromiya Battleeeeeeer, there are still mysteries leeeeeeeeeeeeft!!"
Beato had already countered my first powerful move, the 18th person X, by making the number of people on the island 17.
But just limiting the number of people to 17 didn't overturn the theory that Eva oba-san was the culprit.

I can crush most of the murders in the third game with this theory...!
Blood drips from all over the body of the Golden Witch......

And now, I corner her, this time completely without mercy.
This isn't a game played to decide who wins and who loses.

......Yeah, this isn't playing.
Just playing and fighting like this here, ......delays the trip home.

In her isolation, Ange will continue to have her heart torn apart by loneliness and sadness...!

I have to go back to Ange as fast as I can!!
".........You're all worn out.  Are you at death's door?"
"......*cackle*cackle*.  ......It still, ......doesn't burden me............Something like this, .........nn.  ......*cackle*cackle*, it tickles...!!"

"It looks like you don't need any mercy."
"I never asked for it in the first place."

"I'm going all out."
"Do so.  When our roles were reversed, I showed no mercy.  So you should do the same given the chance.
Otherwise, I'll call another isolated Ange from a different world, and this time I'll tear off her arms and legs, stick her with a spear and roast her, okaaaaaaayyy??  Uhhyahhaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!"
"Shut uuuuuuuuuuup!!  Never again!!  Not my family!  Nor my relatives!  Nor any of the servants!!  I won't let you make them your toys!!
......I have already broken through all of the mysteries in the fourth game with the blue truth.  .........The only one left is the very last one from the third game.  ......Only the murder of Doctor Nanjo."
"......Oho, ......have I already been cornered so far............*cackle*cackle*, I am in a precarious state, aren't I.........iiihhihhihhihhi, ......ghagh, *cough*cough*!"
She coughed violently, spitting up blood.

......Her insides had been punched through so many times.
It was only natural.
"Which means that the mystery of Doctor Nanjo's murder is the last line of defense for you being a witch, right......?"

"............As you say.  If this is broken, it will mean that all of my mysteries have been broken.  .........Unless I counter one of your truths with some new red truth, or present a new mystery, I...will die."

"........................You don't look like someone who's been pushed into a corner and is standing on the brink.  ......You still have some kind of hidden pitch up your sleeve, right......?"

"Well, who knows...?  I have already tired of a life too long after a thousand years...!  I've started to think that having this life ended by a rival like you who I met at the very end, might not be so bad.

*cackle*cackle*, well, can you do it?  Do it.  ......I beg you, kill meeeeeeeee.  I'm always the one killing, and I've never had the experience of being kiiiiiilled!

I have killed the 18 of you hundreds of times, but I haven't been killed myself even once, so I wanted to experience it just once myseeeeeeeeelf, waaeeeeeeeeeehhh!!"

It was a graceless show of boldness, unchanged from before.

......But blood dripped from her mouth, her once beautiful dress was covered with holes, and blood poured from all over her body, making her physical appearance look very different from her attitude.

The way she unconsciously pushed against that shot she'd taken to the flank, perhaps because she was still suffering from that one, lacked any trace of elegance.

......But there's no room for compassion.
As long as I feel sympathy for this witch, my family and I won't be released from this place.

......Until I defeat her, we won't be able to go home...!!

In the world, it may be possible for even enemies to understand each other if the situation changes.

But pure evil does exist.
That is an evil which brings misfortune just by existing...and is to be spared no compromise.

Just by continuing to exist, it is.........evil!!

"I don't think you're pitiful.  Just like how you didn't feel pity for any of us...!"
".........Well of course.  All of you are just pieces in the game!  It's just unbelievably fun to think about which six to kill in the beginning, how to kill the next two, and whether I can find a much, much more grotesque way of killing, you seeeeeeeeeee??
Hey, Battler, I've reformed a little, so forgive me this time too.  And then, I'll change the method of killing into something a little better, you see?  I'll listen to how you want them to be killed and in what order, alriiiiiight?
It's so fun, toying with people's liiiiiiiiives!!  I'm sure you could think of a way, a way to turn Ange into a pile of scrap meat much, much moooooooooorre!!  Come, Battleeeeeer!!  Try to expose the truth of Nanjo's murdeeeeeeeeeeeer!!"
The 18th person X was destroyed.

But I won't give in...!!
I'll stop that witch's breathing cold!!
The end of the third game.

It was proclaimed in red that the survivors at that point in time: Battler, Eva, Jessica, and Nanjo were all unrelated to Nanjo's murder.

And it was also proclaimed that he was murdered directly, right before his eyes.
All other people had the strongest alibi of having their deaths proclaimed in red......

.........Without using the 18th person X, I'll...break through this......!
Think, don't stop thinking......!!
Her red doesn't only bind me, it's also supposed to be her weak point...!

I've got to somehow use it against her.........!
.........That's right, ......there's still a gap......!
Yeah, ......this way, I can break through it.

This way, Beatrice's legend of the witch is over.
"......Certainly, the other people probably were dead.  However, their deaths were not proclaimed in red at the instant Doctor Nanjo died.  Strictly speaking, it was in the fight between me and EVA after Doctor Nanjo's corpse was found.  In other words, if someone who was alive at the time that Doctor Nanjo was killed died before EVA proclaimed that death, you can sew right through that crack!!  In other words, it's like this.
One of those who were first made dead by EVA's proclamation of the deaths, was able to skillfully play dead earlier and wait for us to pass by...!  And while their death still hadn't been proclaimed with the red, we were made to think that they had died.  Then they killed Doctor Nanjo, ......and later died for some reason!  Then after that, EVA proclaimed their death in red!!  That theory can explain Doctor Nanjo's case!!"
How's that, Beatrice?!
When he forcefully asked that question, ......there was a terrible sound that could only be likened to that of a compressor, and a blue stake as thick as a log, ......appeared from under the earth and skewered the Golden Witch, Beato, pulling her up into the air......
Ugly tearing sounds rang out, and each time, ......a blue stake or wedge would appear and pierce Beatrice's body.
......When that finally ended...

Her tragic form was exposed there, pincushioned by more than ten stakes and wedges all over her body and dripping with blood, ......dangling and crucified......
......There was none of the dignity of the brutal witch who had sneered at the honor of the dead and toyed with and killed hundreds of the living.

The rain, which had started falling at some point, ......quietly tormented the crucified witch......
As Battler heaved with his breathing, he waited for some kind of answer from the Golden Witch...

......Although it wasn't long, it took the witch a bit of time to show any signs of life......
"............It hurts......, ......it huuurts............"
"......You got, ...what you...deserved.  ......Know a portion of the pain from all those you've killed......"
Even as he said that, it seemed Battler had lost a little of his forcefulness at this extremely pathetic sight.

......Even for an enemy, he couldn't look straight at a woman exposed in such a brutal fashion.
But even so, .........unless he destroyed Beatrice, the battle...wouldn't end...
"............Battleer, .........I beg you..................hic..."
Huh......?

......Beato let out a sob...
"......It hurts..................It really.........huuuurts..................End it....., .........end it...............Even with this, I still, .........can't die.........hic...............Even though it hurts so much, .........I still, ......can't die..................hic...!"
"............What are you, ......asking, ......of me...?"
"............End it..., ..................Release me, .........from this pain........."
Beato's expression, ......was soaked with blood and tears.
Certainly, Battler had been tricked by her at one point.
......So he was probably able to suspect that her expression...that even her tears were an act.

However, .........Battler...believed those tears.
.........After all, those tears...had the red truth mixed in with them.
"......What should I do?  What can I do to end your pain...?"

"............I will now, ............expose...everything.  .........That is, .........my...heart."

"...Heart............"
".........ll......me."

"............Beato..."

"......Ki...ll......me..................Just, .........let...me......die..................hic, .........aaaaaaaaahhhh........."

Were those tears from pain and torment, ......or else...

Either way, that pathetic expression, ......was painful for Battler to look at, even after burning with such anger...

"......Quickly, .........go back, ......to...Ange........."

"It's not so that I can go back.  .........In order to stop your pain, I'll listen to your desire."
"............Than...ou...... .........Battleeer........., ..ooooooohhhh..."
In her last breaths, Beato summoned up all of her remaining strength, and somehow, managed to close both of her hands into fists......

A red light began to gather at those fists.
......Then she lifted her arms, .........as though wishing for something from heaven......
"......You, Battler, .........can kill me............My entire......heart...... .........Crush it.  .........Pierce it.  .........Okay......?"
The red light around both her arms gradually began to strengthen......
"............Ple......a............"
After saying that much, ......her face tilted to the side a bit.

Then, her right arm lost its light and flopped down.

......But her left arm alone did not lose its light, and remained held out towards the heavens.

Then, ............before Battler's eyes, another Beato appeared with a faint form, transparent like a curtain.

......The crucified Beato had already lost consciousness.

However, the newly-appeared faint Beato quietly looked at me, ......her eyes expressionless, ............and spoke.

".........Ushiromiya Battler.  I will now...kill you."

"............And...?"

".........And right now, there is no one other than you on this island.  The only one alive on this island is you.  Nothing outside the island can interfere."
...I...understood.

This is, ......the 'last mystery' Beatrice can make as a witch.
Beato was holding that out to me.

Entreating me, ......to solve this final mystery, ......and kill her......
"Come on.........  I'll accept, ......your final mystery."

".........You are all alone on this island.  And of course, I am not you.  Yet I am here, now, and will kill you."

"Like a souped up version of the mystery with Doctor Nanjo's murder...... .........So......?"

".........Who...aaam I...?"

"Is that, ............your final question?"
"......Who, ......aaam I.........?"

Then, ......Beatrice slowly approached me, and, still expressionless, .........held me......
.........Yeah, I get it, Beato.

I will, .........kill you, don't worry..........
I also...slowly held her head.

............Then, I as a piece, left the game board......