Episode 5 ????

In the cathedral devoid of people, .........a figure could be seen still staring up at the heavens, its chest pierced with a long red sword which pinned it in place to the ground......the figure of Battler.
......Ironically, it looked just like what he had done to Beato with blue wedges in the 4th game......
Battler had died quite some time ago.

No, .........in this place, the concept of death means nothing except that one has stopped thinking.
Therefore, in a sense, Battler was not dead.
......After being defeated in a fight over the truth and surrendering, he no longer had the strength to think of a way to resist.

That's...what made him dead.
Dlanor's massive long sword, which had been left in place of a tombstone, ......fastened Battler to the spot even after his death...
This was being lit by a faint light seeping out of a high, high skylight.

Quiet footsteps rang out across this still cathedral......
From the darkness behind a pillar, ......a woman slowly stepped forwards.
......It was Beatrice.
Just like they had been the whole time in the Golden Land, ......her eyes had no light in them, and were still muddied over with gray.

This person was once unable to even drink black tea to her satisfaction by her own will, ......but though it was slow, ...and though there was no life in her eyes, ......she was, surprisingly, walking.
Then, with slow, deliberate steps...she reached Battler, who was still dead and pierced......
Then, ......she slowly......touched Battler.

......She tugged...on his sleeve.
However, Battler showed no reaction......
......When she realized that it wasn't sleep......but death............The witch with the hopeless gaze......let her head hang even lower...

Then......she quietly.........whispered...
"........................You......liar........."
Beato......softly touched Battler.........
Then, ......she pressed her forehead against Battler's chest.

There was no longer......, ......any heartbeat.
It wasn't just because he had surrendered.

It was because the witches had chased him from the game board.
......So from now on...
......Battler would never......return...
So from now on...
.........The Golden Witch Beatrice...

Had lost her reason.........to exist............
.........Thank you...

......Liar......

...Goodbye......

And.........

...Sorry.
Then, ......the Golden Witch...completed......her task...and scattered...as a spray of gold.
In the Golden Land, ......the gray rain...gently continued to fall.
......There was a faint aroma of good black tea.

Beato stared blankly at the surface of the tea.

There was Virgilia, continuing her knitting, .........along with me and......Dlanor, talking to each other.
......This is.........a recollection......
A recollection of Battler's memory, which Dlanor's sword must have given him as it pierced him......

A recollection of that time Dlanor had come to visit the tea party in the Golden Land.........
"It's the same with ME.  The next time we cross swords, I won't hold BACK."

"Bring it on.  I'll be your opponent.  Come at me with all you've got."
"I PROMISE.  With everything I've GOT."

......Dlanor.

I'd thought she was an ruthless killer doll without a heart, ...but maybe she actually is pretty approachable.

......Though of course, neither of us will show any mercy when fighting over the game board.

For a while, we gazed at the rain-drenched rose garden as we quietly enjoyed our tea.

"......Still, it really is terrifying.  The way you fight.  ......Knox's Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue, wasn't it?  Those fallbacks of the mystery genre, right?"
"YES.  ......They are commandments conceived by my FATHER."

"Hidden doors must not exist.  That's Knox's 3rd, right?  That means there's no need for detectives to even look for hidden doors.  ......Sounds pretty ridiculous."
Bernkastel said it herself.

She said that, because they were forbidden by Knox's 3rd, even searching for hidden doors was a waste of time.

I'd like to counter that by saying it isn't so uncommon for a rich family's mansion to have a hidden door or two built into it.

......But apparently, that sort of rule works perfectly well in the mystery genre.
By the way, there exist many wonderful mysteries in which hidden doors appear, and where hidden doors are the theme.

......Of course, this is limited to novels which have the 'premise' that hidden doors exist.
If that 'premise' doesn't exist, hidden doors must not exist.
So because that 'premise' doesn't exist, there is no need to search for hidden doors.

......I think that's probably the essence of her ridiculous argument.
I get the feeling that the detective trying to expose the truth and the illusion trying to confuse it with a mixture of truth and lies...are getting blended together, leading to a bizarre form of argument similar to a Devil's Proof.
Making a closed room murder seem to be accomplished by a witch with magic is fantasy.
Exposing that it was a human's crime done with tricks is anti-fantasy.

Considering all possibilities to expose those tricks is mystery.

But is it also mystery......to claim that possibilities with no hints supporting them are unworthy of investigation?
Let's say a hidden door is hidden in a way that there would be no clues.

Would claiming that a hidden door therefore exists even though a detective couldn't find it......be anti-mystery?
.........That's enough of that.

This argument is too far of a digression from the riddles I'm actually supposed to be solving.
My fight is very simple.

I'm only fighting to explain how it was possible for a human to carry out these crimes which were supposedly carried out by a witch.
This whole discussion about 'mystery' and 'anti' doesn't serve any purpose.

That's why I didn't have any particular interest regarding these rules known as the Knox Decalogue...
"............Do you dislike Knox?"

"It doesn't work for me.  ......There's something strange about making it possible to deny the existence of all hidden doors without investigating.  ...It's about as dubious as a Devil's Proof.  ......Even though it's supposed to be the exact opposite of fantasy, it somehow feels like it's the same kind of argument."
"..............."

"......Ah, I shouldn't have said that.  Your dad was the one who made them, after all."
"Do not WORRY.  ......After all, there are some who say it is nothing more than a GAME."
"The Decalogue feels like something very arrogant to you, right, Battler-kun...?"

"......To be honest, yes.  ......If there was ever a detective who said he didn't need to look for hidden doors because they must not exist, everyone should start looking around on the floor to see if some of his screws had come loose..."

"In that case, Battler, ......let us say that the 3rd Commandment doesn't exist.  In that case, what would happen to closed room mysteries...?"

......What if Knox's 3rd, 'hidden doors are forbidden', didn't exist...?

".........In other words, hidden doors would always work just fine as the standard trick for closed rooms."
"This does not refer to hidden doors with hints or FORESHADOWING.  ...It refers only to doors that even the detective cannot find because, of course, they are HIDDEN."

"Battler-kun, you often fight by using a Devil's Proof to assume an undiscoverable element X.  ......That's what this is about."
"That'd be horrible.  The closed room mystery genre wouldn't be worth reading at all."

By becoming not worth the time......it would cease to exist.

No one would want to try solving the riddle from the beginning if they knew the answer might just be an unforeseeable hidden door.

"......If you don't have some guarantee that no hidden doors exist, you don't really feel like trying to reason it out.  ............I see.  Knox's 3rd is necessary.  ......Without that, it wouldn't be worth reading closed room mysteries."

"If you don't feel like trying to reason it out...what does that mean...?"
"It means you don't even feel like reading it."

"That's IT.  ......Humans are weak creatures, who can't even think unless they have proof that reasoning is POSSIBLE."

"...That reasoning is possible.  ......In other words, they need encouragement that they can solve it if they do their best."
That......might be true.
......It's the same with exercising.

If you're told to run around the campus ten times, you can tough it out.

However, if you don't know how many times you're supposed to run around it, you'd probably get tired out before you made it around three times.
The same thing goes for thinking and reasoning.

Humans view a problem differently depending on whether or not it's guaranteed to be solvable......
"In detective novels, there's always a scene where the detective announces that he's discovered who the culprit is.  ......That's a sign saying 'The hints have all been given in the previous parts of the story, so dear readers, please try to reason it out'."
".........Ah.  I always thought it was just a classic line, but it did also have that effect."

"To put it harshly, as long as the detective doesn't say that, ......readers won't feel like trying to solve it no matter how much they love solving mysteries."

"......Weren't you like that yourself in the previous GAMES......?"
".................."
Now that I hear it, ......maybe that really was the case.
Maybe my fight against Beato really began in the 2nd game.

At first, I didn't seriously try to tackle the closed room riddles Beato threw at me.

After all, I knew nothing except that people had died in a closed room, and the windows and doors were all locked from the inside.
......I had basically no hints.

So I refused to argue on the grounds that I couldn't fight because the lack of clues made reasoning impossible.
......After that, Beato sneered at me, didn't she...asking whether I would repeat that over and over forever in an endless repetition of moves......

At that time, Beato said this:

'Of course not.  I'll give you the thing that people like you always demand.  The reason you always stop thinking and then moan about it is 'lack of information'!  If you are then given information, you start doubting whether the information is true or not by 'denying the basis'!  Isn't that convenient?  What clever little words to hide your own incompetence.'
Then, she said she'd give me certain information that couldn't be denied, and created the rule called the red truth.

Once we reached that point, the curtain finally rose on my battle with Beato......
"......So, ......that's when I finally had a guarantee that I could solve this tale if I tried, ......and I stepped up to the stage with her for the first time......?"
"Beatrice.  ......She's a strange PERSON.  Though riddles are the only holes witches can live within, she began to give you the red truth, a method by which those riddles could be SOLVED."
You could say that the red truth is a hint Beato gives me so that I can compete in this war of reasoning.
......Like candy.

Because I've been given hints, it's like she's saying...try and solve it......it can be solved.
......A enigma which is guaranteed to be solvable......can't be called a true 'enigma'.
"Isn't this almost as though.........Beato herself is admitting......that she isn't really a witch...?"

"My, my.  That does seem logical.  ......She truly is a strange child."

".................."

Beato gave no answer.

With gray eyes, ......she did nothing but blankly gaze at the steam rising from her black tea...

"My father created the Decalogue to act as a crutch for the power of THINKING.  ......It most certainly wasn't made as a way to arrogantly decide things."
"......A crutch...for the power of thinking......"

"That's RIGHT.  By Knox's 8th, it is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not PRESENTED.  ......This does not only mean that one is forced to avoid making theories that are not supported by CLUES."

"If you turn it around, .........it means that the one proposing the riddles is forced to display clues which lead to the solution."

"......So, in other words, ......if you follow the Decalogue, ......all riddles must have hints, ......and therefore, it's guaranteed that finding the solution is possible."
I see......so this is what they mean by a crutch for the power of thinking.

If you can believe that it's solvable, you start feeling the desire to have a go at those riddles.

If you're capable of believing that hints do exist, you get fired up about rereading the story to search for them......
"I'll admit......it might have the power of giving courage to people trying to solve it."
"You seem to think that the Knox Decalogue is a series of restrictions imposed by the one who made the MYSTERY, but it is also vital for the READERS.  .........By using the Decalogue as a crutch, we are given the courage needed to use reasoning, as well as the willpower to reread the tale several times in search of the clues we know must be hidden THERE."

".........It's like the lid of a jar of jam which is too tight and won't open.  ......Like Mom always used to say, ......if you think you can't open it, then it really won't open no matter how hard you try.  ......The same thing happens in sports.  They say that whether or not you have a strong image of yourself and believe you can win no matter what has a large impact on the records."

In that case.

The Knox Decalogue isn't really a set of arrogant and strict restrictions.

......You can also see it as a way to encourage readers, who are trying to solve the mystery, by telling them to give it their all since it's definitely solvable...

".........That's an interesting way to interpret it.  ......However, I've heard that not all of the detective novels around the world follow the Decalogue all the time, right?  .........When you bump into one of those, won't you feel tricked...?"

"Even the Decalogue is nothing more than a single INTERPRETATION, and it does not apply to all mystery STORIES.  ......Though among fundamentalists of my father's work, it seems there are those who harshly criticize works which violate the Decalogue and call them HERESY..."
There's no end of arguments like this in the mystery world.

Was this or that famous detective novel really a fair mystery--in other words, one that followed Knox's Decalogue?
That sort of argument is already an eternal theme of the mystery world.

In fact, in mystery discussions, arguments like these sometimes become more heated than talk about the actual tricks......
"I can understand why they'd want to criticize it.  ......They try to solve it, believe it's solvable and follow the Decalogue, but it's actually not made to be solvable at all.  I can understand how that'd get pretty annoying."
That's right.

When fighting with the Decalogue, ......there's just one thing you want guaranteed from the beginning.

In other words, .........you want a guarantee that this detective novel will adhere to the Decalogue.
If a work labels itself as an orthodox mystery, then you have nothing to worry about.
However, the mystery genre contains many other non-orthodox sub-genres within it.

.........Does that mean that trying to use reasoning in a non-orthodox detective novel is a complete waste of time......?

"......Looking at it that way, ......it really does feel arrogant.""YES.  I also find it extremely sad that my father's Decalogue has been used as such an arrogant weapon."

"............Though you just fought with Beato using the Decalogue as a weapon.  ......Can I take that as proof that this game world of Beato's follows the Knox Decalogue......?"
"........................"
When I asked that, ......there was a strange silence.

Virgilia, Dlanor, ...and of course, Beato......all remained silent for a while......
Almost as though my question had touched at the core of something...

"That......is something I cannot answer myself."
"Why...?"

"This is a game that this child made.  ......A game to decide which of the two of you will win.  ......This child has called it a confrontation between mystery and fantasy."

"But unfortunately, she has never called it an orthodox mystery.  That means you have no guarantee that it follows the Decalogue."

"......But at the same time, <Miss> Beatrice has said that this game is a contest between you and HER.  ......In other words, there is a chance that you could win."

"In other words, ............you're trying to say that reasoning is possible?"
".................."

".........If you asked this child, she would probably say that reasoning is possible.  ......However, just as she is the challenger and you are the challenged, the two of you are different creatures.  ......Something Beato might have proposed thinking it is solvable...may or may not be something that is solvable for you as well."
For example, let's say we propose a simple riddle that any Japanese person would know.

......However, if the person we're telling this riddle to is a foreigner with a Japanese-English dictionary in their hand, it might be almost impossible to solve.
......In other words, it's possible to have a one-sided 'solvable problem' which might be easy for the questioner but extremely difficult for the person trying to solve it...
By the way, do you know of the foreign riddle: 'Why do dragons sleep all day?'

The answer is
It's a riddle from the English realm, so it might be a little tough for a Japanese person.
"For that reason, .........I cannot promise that this tale is something you will absolutely be able to solve.  .........However, I can promise you one thing.  ...I will guarantee it with the red truth."

".........What?"

"Beato wanted you to solve it, so she made this game...the riddles of this tale...solvable.  That alone, I will guarantee with the red truth."
It was......the one guarantee.........that all those who try to use reasoning desire.
"I don't know whether my father's Decalogue will apply to that answer or lead you to IT.  ......However, when you run into a tight spot and want a compass for your reasoning, please try using my Decalogue if you REMEMBER.  ......It might give you renewed courage and possibly even some new DISCOVERY......"
"Thank you.  If I'm truly stuck, I'll think about your fighting style.  ......Are you sure it's alright to help out an enemy like this?"

"Pay that no MIND.  I came to this tea party without a GIFT.  I hope you enjoy this in place of a SNACK.  ...And...if you come face to face with me AGAIN, there probably won't be time to speak of something so CASUALLY."
.........Knox's Decalogue......and Virgilia's red truth.
'Beato wanted me to solve it, so she made the riddles of this game solvable'.

In other words, ......Beato wants me to be capable of solving it.
Isn't that......proof that reasoning is possible......?
......Of course, that's from Beato's point of view, ......and it doesn't necessarily mean that reasoning is possible for me......
Compared to before now, when I didn't even know whether reasoning was possible or impossible, ......that one line might give me a great deal of courage...

At least it has the power to silence any negative thoughts about it just being useless anyways...
"......Unless the other party assures you that reasoning is possible, you won't do it.  ......It's almost like love between shy, young people."

"Love?"
"Yes.  .........Unless you have proof that the other person loves you first, you don't want to love them back.  ......Right?"

Both boys and girls......want to hear someone else say they love them first.
That's their dream.

......If they're in love, they don't want to love the other person until they're sure this person loves them back.

After all, there's nothing as painful as a one-sided love, ......and the scars of the heart that leaves behind last a long time.
Because they are afraid of that pain, ......they want proof that the other person loves them first more than anything else...
"I SEE, that's an interesting way to explain the relationship between writer and reader in a detective NOVEL."
Yes, ......maybe you could liken detective novels to that.
Both the writer and the reader......first want the other party to say they will solve it (that it can be solved).

Until the writer is assured that the reader will certainly have a go at the riddle if they propose it, they don't want to write their story.
The same goes for the readers.

Until they are assured that they will certainly be able to solve the riddle if they try, they don't want to read the story.
Because they don't want to write what they consider a masterpiece and be hurt when no one reads it.

Because they don't want to reason about what they consider a masterpiece and be hurt when they realize it was all useless.
"By that argument.........it really isn't a stretch to say it's like love between shy elementary or middle school-aged kids.  ......Even though they really do want it, they don't have the courage to reveal their feelings, so they wait uncomfortably for the other person to confess......and by the time summer ends, nothing's happened."
"Heheh, sometimes they'll even go out with a different person.  That's what my first love was like, ihihi."
Along with these one-sided feelings they can't express, they lament the passage of a summer which will never come again, and the days of their youth end.

The writer who wouldn't write until he gained the support of readers...goes for all eternity without releasing his maiden work.

The reader who waited for the writer's rise to fame...goes their whole life without knowing the joy of the mystery genre.

"......Battler-kun.  When does this 'the chicken or the egg' type of shy love reach the level where it progresses into mutual love......?"

"Well, .........that's probably when things start to pile up.  ...It starts as a relationship between friends, they communicate with each other more, ......and when the two both reach the level where they're sure......that 'I like this person and they surely like me', ......well, then they probably just naturally become a pair of lovers."

"My impression up until now is that relationships which start with a sudden confession of love tend to break up more often, whereas pairs who never actually confess to each other but realize that they've always been together usually stay together for a surprisingly long time."

"In other words, this happens after the two of them trust each other and a relationship of trust is BORN, ......is what you're SAYING."

".........Maybe.  ......It's a bit odd.  ...I've always thought the mystery genre was a battle between the writer and the reader, ......but maybe it actually isn't."

"Yes.  It's something which can't go on without a relation built on mutual trust, ......a relationship with love."

".................."
".................."

"......So, you're saying that our relationship......isn't one of killing each other, but one with love?"
"......*giggle*.  Though it doesn't look like anything more than a pair of elementary schoolers bullying each other to me...  Heheheheh."

Virgilia joked at us in a middle-aged woman sort of way.
Still, ......though I'm not expecting friendship or a trusting relationship, ......I can accept her as a rival.
Beato is fighting at full force, trying to make me acknowledge that she's a witch.

So I'll respond to that and go all out trying to deny that witches exist.

"How do you know that <Miss> Beato is fighting at full FORCE?"
"I can tell by looking."

"It isn't as though she has proclaimed in red that she was fighting you at full FORCE.  ......And yet, you still have no DOUBTS?  You are the one who said you wouldn't believe anything except the red TRUTH."

".........Nn, .................."

"*giggle*.  ......I'm sure this is the stage where communication increases and you learn not to doubt your relationship which Battler-kun was mentioning earlier."

Virgilia and Dlanor giggled together.

......One guy, multiple women.
The topic is love.

......Wait a sec, isn't this the worst formation for getting made fun of?

When I tried to change the subject and bring back a proper mood for a tea party in the rainy Golden Land by clumsily searching for a more noble subject, Virgilia saw right through me and laughed at me......
..................

Even amidst this, Beato kept looking downwards with those gray eyes, staring into her black tea.........
............

.........Yeah, that's right......

Virgilia and Dlanor.........have given me so many hints...

And yet, I barely thought about it at all...
By now, it's all too late......

.........'Let me think'.

Now that everything is too late already and I have an endless amount of time on my hands, .........let me think.
......One more time, let me think about the red truth Virgilia gave me...and the crutch of the Decalogue that Dlanor lent me......
With the red truth, .........Virgilia guaranteed that at the very least, Beato left enough room in this tale for me to achieve victory.

......That red truth guarantee will once again......give me the power to start my heart beating...

And......there's the crutch of the Decalogue, which Dlanor lent me.

Dlanor herself warned me in the beginning that the Decalogue isn't so almighty that it can solve all riddles.

However, she had said something about how it could be used as a method to solve......no, to take on riddles.
......Let me try it.

Even though there's no guarantee that this tale is mystery or fantasy, ......let me believe that I'll definitely be able to solve it, ......that it is a solvable tale, a mystery......and let me take it on one last time......
When I came to, ......I was suddenly in...
...that strange tea room where I had often argued furiously with Beato from across that table.
......Of course, Beato was nowhere to be found.
It was just me......isolated and alone.
That's alright.
Even so, ......I won't stop thinking.
Okay then.

.........What were Knox's Commandments again......?

I'm sure Dlanor explained most of them when slamming me with them.

Of course, even I recall them vaguely.
What was......the first one, again......?
"......Allow me to speak.  Knox's 1st.  It is forbidden for the culprit to be anyone not mentioned in the early part of the story."
When I muttered about what the first one was...

.........As if answering my question, ......Dlanor's subordinate appeared.
Without bothering with an unnecessary 'hello', she told me nothing more or less than what I wanted to know.

"......Yeah, that's it.  The 1st.  ......The culprit has to be one of the people mentioned in the early part of the story."

In other words, .........does that mean the culprit must have appeared already......by the first game......?

True, that is the most basic of basics in the mystery genre.

A given.
......A given...?

......Have I really.........kept that as a basic assumption......?
With each new game, the number of people in this tale keeps increasing.

That violates the closed circle rule.
By that point, everything gets screwed up.
Did I give up on the inside, ......thinking that the true culprit or mastermind must not have shown up yet and that reasoning was therefore useless......?
If I read this tale as a fantasy, ......new characters keep showing up to the point where even having demon kings or gods or creators appear wouldn't be strange at all.

Even if the true mastermind first appears in one of the last Episodes, I'd have to accept it.
However, ......if I read it as a mystery and stick with that conviction...
Then there's no need to worry at all about anyone who shows up later.

Because Knox's 1st clearly states that it's impossible for the culprit to be anyone who appears later on in the story.
............Of course, there's also what both Dlanor and Virgilia said.

There's no guarantee that this tale follows the rules of the Decalogue, so of course, I can't deny the possibility that the culprit first appeared in the 2nd game or later.

However, ......this is one way of thinking.
This time...

I'll forget about the Devil's Proof completely......and try to borrow the power of the Decalogue in my thinking.

After all, I've already said myself that I won't be able to reach the truth without a multi-angled outlook.
"In that case, .........that means the culprit in all of these repeating games...is one of the 18 people.  From the very beginning......there was no need for an illusion of a 19th person."
......Even the first of Knox's commandments......denies the existence of an unknown person known as the witch from the very start.

If I had followed that in the truest sense......I might not have suffered so miserably in the 2nd game.
"......Knox's 2nd?"

"Allow me to speak.  Knox's 2nd.  It is forbidden for supernatural agencies to be employed as a detective technique."

Dlanor's other subordinate appeared without a sound...and gave me an answer to my question.

......That's right.
A detective can't go around using magic.

"So, ..................if this is a fair battle, ......does that mean that, like the detective, ......the culprit also isn't allowed to use magic......?"

"Allow me to speak.  ......Know that the interpretation is up to you."
"Yeah, that.  ......Sure.  I'll interpret it my way."
If this game is a battle between me and Beato...
...Then because this tale is solvable, no elements will appear which make it impossible to solve.
In other words, things like magic mustn't appear.

When they do appear, I shouldn't suspect that the mystery element is breaking down, ......but I should instead question why it was shown and suspect the witnesses and observers.
That's right, ......that was......Beato's greatest weapon in the 2nd game.
Depictions of magic, which couldn't exist in a mystery.

By showing me that, she forced me to think that this tale wasn't a mystery, and therefore, that reasoning was impossible...and I surrendered......
However, if I had believed unshakably that it was a mystery...

......It would have been completely obvious to doubt the witnesses who claimed to have seen it.
Also, at the end of the 1st game, it was revealed that this tale was passed on to people in the future by that message bottle.
......Someone had written about this crime...this tale.

In other words, ......this tale is all part of a world which includes the personal opinions of an observer, namely, the person who wrote that message in a bottle.
In other words, the observer isn't God.
It's a human.

Therefore, there's no guarantee that this description is truly impartial.
By the end of the 1st game, it had already been made clear that we've broken the constant premise of the mystery genre: that the story itself must be seen through the eyes of God.
For that reason, it's possible to doubt even the observer, as well as the witnesses.

If I could've doubted this much, ......then no matter how many seemingly unsolvable displays of magic appeared, I wouldn't have had to blindly accept them and give up......
However, that begs the question: .........is it even possible to solve a tale written by an observer who isn't impartial?

.........If I get obsessed with this, all of my reasoning will end here.
However, ......I had to believe.
I had to believe.........that Beato was trying to fight me through this tale.

Because it's a fight, ......that means I've been given a chance of winning.

By giving me that.........doesn't that mean.........that reasoning is possible?
......This part......is tough.

Unless I believe that the cruel witch took on the risk of losing to try and have a fair fight with me, ......I can't get past this part.
......Just like Virgilia said, ......it's just like love.

If I can't believe that Beato is fighting me head on with everything she's got, ......I won't be able to reason any further than this.
.........Sure, ...I'll acknowledge it.
Unless we acknowledge that we 'love each other', ......we won't be able to get any further.
When Virgilia ran out of patience with the two of us, shy and incapable as we were of acknowledging that out loud, she gave me that red truth instead.
That was the red truth saying 'Beato wanted me to solve it, so she made the riddles of this game solvable.'
......What the hell.

It's like 'Satou-san in class A says he likes you~'.
Like hearing a love confession via a friend...
.........I really am.........pitiful.
Reasoning......is love.

If we don't love each other, ......the reasoning won't start.
In that case, how can we say that we love each other?

'If you think you can solve it, just you try.'  'You're incompetent, like hell you can solve it.'
......Yeah, according to George-aniki, you call that sort of thing 'tsundora'.

Heheh, that brutal witch is finally starting to look a bit cute.
......If I meet her again, I wanna try saying 'You're such a tsundora'.

If I meet her again, .........somewhere...
..................
"......Tell me the other parts of the Decalogue.  I don't care about the order.  ......Give me something that seems useful."

"Allow me to speak.  Knox's 8th.  It is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not presented."
"Allow me to speak.  Knox's 6th.  It is forbidden for accident or intuition to be employed as a detective technique."

It must not be solved with clues that aren't presented.
And, it must not be solved by relying on accident.

If this tale is made in a way that it can be solved...
We can read this the opposite way.

In other words, ......clues must be prepared so that the case can be solved.
And, it has to be made in a way that it can be solved without relying on an accident.

If I can believe that Beato is challenging me to a fair game where reasoning is possible...
......I can be sure of that.

In other words, ......Beato has already left me clues, hints, and messages in this tale.
......It isn't from the Decalogue, but Erika or someone said this:
There are three riddles to be exposed in a mystery.
One is the 'who dunnit'.  Who is the culprit?
One is the 'how dunnit'.  How did they commit the crime?
One is the 'why dunnit'.  Why did they commit the crime?

All of this means that clues related to these three riddles are already present inside this tale.
......No, strictly speaking, it's like this:
Because she wanted me to solve these three riddles, ......Beato scattered hints about.
Though whether I'm capable of catching those or not is another matter...

Even if you think a riddle you propose is easy...it might be difficult for the person trying to solve it.
In that case, it's only natural that there will be a difference in how difficult it is for either person.
.........Therefore.

As Beato goes through each successive game, she watches me closely...and tweaks the game as needed to get a good arrangement.

When Beato realized that I'd completely surrendered in the 2nd game because it was too hard, she secretly worried.
If I surrendered and lost the will to fight, ......the game would no longer remain on an even footing.

Therefore, in order to make me regain my will to fight, ......from the 3rd game onwards, she set things up in a way that made it easier for me, giving me tips on how to fight and a few hints.

Virgilia and Ronove obviously appeared so that they could help me.
Also, though we still had the usual crazy magic shows, she gave me the metaphor of the Braun tube trial, as well as tips on how to fight back.
I finally understood how to fight, .........and most likely, at the end of the 4th game...

......Beato managed to have the all-out showdown with me that she had probably wanted.
......Then, Beato acknowledged that my abilities had become full-fledged, .........and entrusted me with her heart............entrusted me with explaining this tale, didn't she...
In that case, ......it was really dumb of me to boycott most of the 5th game just because I was so disgusted with those two witches...
It doesn't matter who the Game Master is.
All I need is to search for the truth in Beato's game.

......On the contrary, I should probably...thank those two witches just a little for continuing the game in Beato's place, now that she's gone and left everything to me.
Of course, I doubt those evil witches were trying to do anything of the sort......
Culprit.  Crime.  Motive.

The answers to those three ultimate riddles...the hints.........must be scattered throughout the previously shown tales.

It's probably a very faint light, ......like trying to find beads that have fallen onto a sandy beach.
They're definitely there.

......However, they're so faint that unless I believe strongly, there's no way I'll be able to find them.

"Please.  Allow me to speak."
".........What is it......?"

"Go back......through the tale.  ......Know that you will be given them as long as you don't lose sight of the truth's faint light."
".........Right now...............through this tale......"

"Know that for reasoning to be possible, a trusting relationship is required."
"......Yeah, ......I know.  .........In fact, ...maybe I finally noticed just now."

It's something that been repeated over and over again throughout the tale......persistently so.

"......Without love, ......the truth...cannot be seen......"
Slowly, the tea room dissolved into darkness......
Then, as though I was slowly sinking into a pitch black sea, .........I passed through the crevice of the long journey I'd taken with Beato.........and kept on falling and falling......

It was a bizarre experience......like crossing over the boundary of sleep while still conscious.
The several tales before became faint bubbles, ......no, were they small shining Fragments?  ...And were scattered like stars amidst a pitch black sky.

I kept sinking on and on......into that sea......
The tales up until now.........one after another.........after another.........

Vergilius guided Dante to Mount Purgatory, ......and brought him below the feet of the eternal lady who waited at the top, Beatrice.
Therefore, .........the innermost depths lay not at the bottom, .........but at the peak of Mount Purgatory.

The eternal lady......had been waiting there for Dante......the whole time......
 And then...I...knew.
......I've finally...reached the truth.........

.........To the depths, no.........to the peak...of Mount Purgatory............
............Idiot............

......You.........really are......an idiot......
"...Ah, ......gwah............that hurts........."
He woke from the sleep of death, ......and bit by bit......his sense of pain came back to him......

On Battler's face, which still looked up at the heavens as he hung there pierced by the long sword, ......a suffering and alive expression gradually returned......
"You.........really are......an idiot............A huge idiot........."
Battler...noticed.
......The whole time, .........Beato had been snuggling up against him......sleeping.

And when he held her, .........He knew.........that it was not Beato.........but her crumbling......remains.
So, when Battler just tried to hold that form as fragile as ash, .........just like a sand castle made on a beach......which has been washed away by a small wave......it fell apart and lost its form......
At Battler's feet......lay nothing but the ragged remnants of Beato's dress......and a pile of ash.
No, ......on top of that pile of ash......he could see something sparkling gold.

......It was............the husk......of a single gold butterfly......which had been torn to bits......
And so, .........Battler...knew......

I've......definitely reached the truth...
......However, ......I wasn't able to do it.........while Beato still remained in this world............
"......Beato......, ......you, .........really are............an idiot......"
I've finally......reached the truth of this crazy riddle you've created......

......Just......like you wanted......!

I didn't lose heart......and I finally......made it there in the end.........
So why......did you lose heart............without waiting for me......?

......You believed so strongly, didn't you......?  That I'd......definitely reach the truth......
So, .........why.........?

Why............couldn't you believe with me...............and wait.........?
You aren't the one who's been forcing an endless torture on someone else.
It's me...!

I've been the one putting you through a cruel torture...!
You resisted until the very end and kept on protesting to me......
........And even though......I've now finally.........reached that truth...

To think that you.........couldn't wait any longer.........and that it's all too late.........
"Y........., ............you idiooooot...............Why......did you lose heart.........before me?  Dammiiiiiiiit......"
It's my......fault......
I forced her to endure this torture.
In fact, she's been doing a wonderful job sticking through it for so long......

Over and over and over again, you kept on protesting to me, .........and because I was so incompetent......it was as though I couldn't understand the truth.
"Idiot............idiot...............Your riddles......are too twisted......!!  ......Why couldn't......you say it............more simply......?...Idiooooooooooooot!!  Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaggghhhhh!!"
His scream of pain......filled the sad cathedral...
The sad witch who wasn't able to let Battler know of the truth.
The sad man who wasn't able to understand the witch's truth.

Battler's howl of anger and sadness rang out for that pair......
The clock hung in the cathedral showed that it was 24:00 on October 5, 1986.

Time was up.........for everything.........
You're kidding me......don't set something like a time limit on this difficult riddle you're so proud of......
".........No, ......I understand......  Even though there was such a faint chance of that miracle happening, .........you prayed for it to happen............You're.........just like Grandfather."
You prayed for and bet on the power of a miracle.........one so unlikely that it was totally impossible, less likely than finding a bead you've dropped on a sandy beach.........
And that means I've now truly arrived at that miracle.

However, ......your time......didn't last long enough............
If I had reached this point even a little sooner...
If I could have seen the truth......!!

Even if it had been right before time was up, .........I might.........have been able to save you...!!
But right now, ......I've been run through pathetically.
......I can't......even hold what remains of you......!
......As I attempted to pull the long sword out, ......I tried stretching out my arms and kicking my feet, struggling to at least touch her remains......but nothing worked.
"......Shiiiiiit......, dammiiiiiiiiiitttt.........!!!"
.........At that time, I noticed a golden glint on the palm of my hand.
It was............a single wing from a gold butterfly.

That small fragment of gold.........was the only piece of Beato......that I was permitted to touch.........
I cried with all my strength, .........gripped that fragment...and pressed it against my head, apologizing.

......Why couldn't I reach the truth earlier......?
Then I pressed it to my chest, .........promising that even now, ......I would never again lose......the truth......
When I pressed my hand against my chest, ......the sword piercing my chest cut my wrist, and blood dribbled out.
That blood spread throughout my fist.........and it must have......soaked that gold Fragment with my red blood.
It must have been......the only way of telling her...that I'd found the truth she had wanted me to know about......
I clutched the wing of the gold butterfly......with my freshly bleeding hand.........and pressed it against the red sword which pierced me......
At this point, ......Ushiromiya Battler...knows.
And he understands.

......He's found.........this tale's......everything......
At that time, ......it seemed as though......a faint golden light leaked out of the gaps in his clenched fist.
The two witches had their backs turned, and Erika was laughing at Battler's corpse.
"......That really is pathetic, Battler-san.  I'll make your foolishness into a statue, and for all eternity.....................Huh......?"
At that time, Battler's chest......no, .........the red long sword that pierced Battler.........began to sparkle gold from deep within his chest......
That bright golden light.........began to change the red sword's color......turning it gold......

".........What's going on......?"
"B, ......Battler is......, ......what.........is this......?!""............ah."
"Gwah...!!"
Battler coughed up blood and groaned.
His consciousness...came back.
His will to live, his will to fight...came back...
The red long sword which pierced Battler......could no longer be described as such.
...By now, it had become a golden long sword.
Then.........slowly......slowly.........it pulled itself out of Battler's chest......
It finally pulled itself out of Battler and started dancing through the air......then stood up in front of Battler's eyes as though it knew who its master was.
Battler, crawling on the floor and moaning, grabbed the golden long sword......and though it looked painful, ......he slowly.........rose to his feet once again.
"......This sure is an elaborate act.  ...Is this one of your tricks, Lambda?"

"Th, .........that glow............i, it couldn't be........."
Lambda stared wide-eyed at that bright golden glow in awe...

When she noticed that Battler's resurrection wasn't part of a script Lambda had thought up, Bern also frowned slightly...
"......Sorry.  Retrials will not be permitted.  Siesta Sisters, eliminate this resurrection illusion..."
"Understood.  45, 410, firing permission granted."

"I, ......it's......unable to target!!  IFF error, code 999...!"
".........Eeek."
"...999, you say..., impossible...!"

The Siesta Sisters hesitated, unable to carry out Bernkastel's orders...
"Lambda.  What kind of farce is this?  ......The Illusion of the Witch has been completely destroyed, and the trial ended with our victory."

".........Sorry, Bern.  ......You'll have to stick around a bit longer.  .........Isn't that right, Ushiromiya Battler......?"
"............Yeah.  ......Sorry to keep you waiting, Erika, ......Bernkastel.  ......Now it's time for my truth......"
"Request for a retrial accepted.  ......The assembly of witches retracts the adjournment of the Court of Illusions!!"

"O, objection.  The trial has already been concluded and the results have even been announced...!"
"Objection overruled...!!  All verdicts are overshadowed by new truths!!"

"Objection!!  Not only has Battler been banished as a player, he also doesn't hold the rank of witch...!  He isn't qualified to call for an appeal...!"
"Objection overruled!!  He already does have that.  ......By the name of Lambdadelta, Witch of Certainty, I acknowledge it.........Ushiromiya Battler...!  I acknowledge you as the new Golden Witch, ......no, .........as the new Endless Sorcerer, Ushiromiya Battler...!!!"
"......Wh, ...what did you say......?  ......B, ......Battler got.........the rank of a witch......?!"
The rank of a witch, which she had desired for so long, had been granted to Battler so quickly.
And on top of that, this wasn't anything temporary.
......This was an official, proper authorization by Lambdadelta.

Erika couldn't accept it, and her face turned bright red...

".........Hmph, ......hehehehehhahaahahahahahahaaah!!  Looks like that kid's game really will keep us entertained until the very end...!  Sure, I'll play along...!"

"Erika, you handle this...!  The red truth you've created with me is perfect...!  The construction of truth which makes Natsuhi the culprit is perfect...!  Battler certainly won't be able to break it!"

"O, of course, my master...!!  There's no need to worry at all!  Anyways, Siesta Sisters, my master ordered you to fire, right?!  How long is it gonna take you to carry that order out?!"

"E, error code 999!  A, an access code is required to target the territory lord...!"
".........Nyeh.  I told you he'd do it nyeh."
"Territory lord...?!  Who is?!  Who controls this Fragment?!  I do...!!"

".........Territory lord............You don't mean........., ......Battler is.........?"
"Yes.  Ushiromiya Battler has been authorized as the official territory lord of this Fragment...!"

"Yes, that's right.  ......So you still don't understand?  You don't know what that gold sparkle signifies?  .........He's reached it, ......Battler has.  ......He's made his way to the innermost depths of all truths!!"
"....................."

"That means Battler's understood everything about this world, this tale, this game.  ......In other words, he's reached the position of the game's master.  ......*giggle*, I'll bet you don't want to believe it, right, Bern?!"
"......Heh, .........*giggle*giggle*giggle*giggle*!!  Yeah, I don't want to believe it...!!  Okay, I'll test Battler to see whether he really understands everything...!!  Erika!"

"Too bad, Erika.  .........Just when you were finally appointed as the territory lord of this Fragment, you've been deprived of that title."

"The new territory lord of this Fragment is Ushiromiya Battler.  ......*giggle*, is it awful?  Hey, hey, don't you feel just awful?!  How's it feel to be deprived of that title just when you'd finally gotten it?!  How's it feel?!"
"Ahh, ...waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhggh!!  Battleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!  If you think you can disprove my theory, just try iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!  It's impossible,
impossible!!  The theory I've created has no holes!!  It's impossible to deny that Natsuhi is the culprit!!"
".........I can construct a theory with someone other than Natsuhi oba-san as the culprit.  ......It may be that your truth is impossible to disprove.  ......If so, that means your truth won't be able to deny my new truth either......!"

Battler spoke with the red truth allowed him by his status as a sorcerer.

"A, ......a culprit other than Natsuhi...?!  ...H, ......hah!!  How's that?!!  Dlanor!!  Let's see where this delusion of Battler-san's takes us...!!"
......Slowly, ......Dlanor stepped forwards.
In her hand......was the red long sword of the Decalogue.
She also had a blue short sword.

In Battler's hand......was a golden long sword.
......The two rivals once again.........No, for the first time......they truly confronted each other.
".........Battler, I've been WAITING."
"Sorry to keep you."
"You did NOT.  Your return was sooner than I ANTICIPATED."

"Kill him, Dlanor A. Knoooooooooooxxxx!!!"
Dlanor's form disappeared in an instant.
As though her slow, dignified movements from before were only a lie...!
......The curve drawn by the long sword of red truth burned itself into the retinas of those who saw it.

Before anyone had enough time to follow that curve, ......it was already approaching Battler's chest...!

"Lady Erika's reasoning has solved the 5th GAME.  No new facts exist which overturn the truth created by this reasoning...!!"
"It's possible to show a different truth by using a different interpretation!!  When multiple truths exist in parallel, the authenticity of both is questioned!!"
In this closed off world, it's possible for differing truths to exist at the same time.
Furthermore, as long as multiple truths exist, it's impossible to claim that any of the truths are the single truth.

In other words, even if I can't overturn Erika's reasoning, by questioning its credibility.........and conquering it, I can defeat it...!
"Bern's reasoning is perfect.  You won't be able to overturn it easily.  ......But still.  If you can present a theory on par with Bern's, the fight will come down to a verdict.  That means it's possible that either one of the truths will be defeated and denied!"

".........This plot twist is truly laughable...!!  I'd expect nothing less from a plot twist by a demon!!"
"Then let me ASK!!  What is this theory with someone other than Natsuhi as the CULPRIT?!!"
Battler's golden long sword drew both red and blue curves at will.

"It's possible to construct it using the revenge of the baby from 19 years ago, which Natsuhi oba-san confessed about."
"Knox's 1st.  It is forbidden for the culprit to be anyone not mentioned in the early part of the story!  A person first introduced in the 5th game cannot be named as the CULPRIT...!!"

"What if the baby from 19 years ago was among us since the very beginning?  For example, ......what if it was me?!"
"Knox's 8th.  It is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not presented!  Was there ever any foreshadowing showing that you might be the baby from 19 years ago?!!"
"The red truth from the 4th game that I am not the son of my mother Asumu.  The feeling that Dad was hiding something in both the first game and this game.  In particular, in this game, it was made clear that there were some special circumstances having to do with my birth."
Battler proposed that he might be the baby from 19 years ago, ......and announced that he would reconstruct the crime with himself as the culprit.

As Dlanor cautiously held her sword at the ready, she gauged the distance between them...
Now that Battler had inherited the position of this world's territory lord and attained the rank of Endless Sorceror, his movements surpassed human understanding.

By now, the physical distance between them probably counted for nothing.
Because their extremely agile battle was surpassing the point where the concept of distance made any difference.
"......A good START.  Let us hear......your theory with Battler as the culprit...!"

"Yeah, I'll let you hear it.  I'll prove that this explanation also works, ......and that you can't be certain Natsuhi oba-san is the culprit...!"
"<Good>!!  If you're supposed to be the culprit, that creates several contradictions!  I'll use those contradictions to reap your feeble truth!  I, Furudo Erika, the detective and the Witch of Truth will...!!"
This time, Erika stepped forward.
......In her hand, there appeared a sickle like one a god of death might hold.
A ruthless sickle for reaping everything that threatened her theory...!
"It's only possible for the crime to have taken place between 24:00 and 1:00!!  During that one hour, you were in the dining hall of the mansion!!  Therefore, it was impossible for you to commit the crime!"

"It has not been specified that the time of death was between 24:00 and 1:00.  Therefore, it's possible that the crime didn't occur between 24:00 and 1:00...!"
"There's a restriction on any murders in the cousins' room!  From 1:00 AM until the discovery of the crime, it was impossible for the crime to occur in the cousins' room!!  Dlanor, now!!!"
"Knox's 8th.  If the crime actually was carried out in the cousins' room, clues must have been SHOWN.  Because clues were not given to the detective, Lady Erika, who was on the watch for any abnormalities inside that room until morning, such a crime is IMPOSSIBLE...!!"
"By the time of the crime's discovery, you mean the point at which I let out a scream and everyone gathered there.  Even if it was impossible to kill them before that point, it was possible to kill them afterwards...!!"
Battler used a blue flash to deflect both of the red truths that Erika and Dlanor had flung at him...!
Erika's eyes went wide.
After all, what he had said was completely absurd.

......At that time, ......they still hadn't been killed...?!Even though corpses with their necks sliced open were laying there?!
"The death of the four in the cousins' room has been proclaimed with the red text!!  Are you trying to use the Illusion of the Witch?!  Are you trying to resurrect George and the others using the concept of magic even though they were dead at the time?!"
"I see, since you believe they were dead by that point, it probably looks as though the dead have been brought back to life to you...!  So this might look like magic in your eyes.  .........In that case, I won't be the one to take the next shot at you!"
"Fool!!  How often do I have to say it?!!  The deaths of the four people in the cousins' room have been proclaimed with the red truth!!  Furthermore, those corpses were witnessed by a large number of people!!  Furthermore, it's already been proclaimed in red that an autopsy would not be mistaken for any of those corpses...!!  Take that, dead people!!!"
"......When was that red truth made?  Have you forgotten, Miss?"

The fierce shower of red was blocked by a magical barrier set up by Ronove, who suddenly appeared right in front of Battler.
Now that Beato was gone, the demons shouldn't have been able to manifest themselves in the real world...

However, ......he 'existed' here, ......and calmly dealt with Erika's attack.
"Y, ...you, ......Ronove!!  H, how did you get here...?!  Well, who cares, this all works out nicely.  Now there's no need to go looking for you.  I'll capture you here and deny your existence too!!"

".........I'll leave it to you.  Teach her that you can't control everything with a single, arrogant truth."
"<Yes, your majesty>.  .........Well then, ...allow me to be your opponent for a bit.  What do you say, Miss?"
"In that case, when do you claim the red truth death proclamation happened?!  Are you saying you can pinpoint that?!  You can't pinpoint it, so you can't deny that the death proclamation was made at the time of the crime's discovery!!"
"When this court was opened, Lady Lambdadelta made a proclamation.  She said this was a 24:00 answer session!  ......The death proclamation was made at 24:00 on the second day, in other words, at the end of the game.  That does not deny the possibility that the murder occurred after the morning of the second day, after the so-called 'discovery of the crime'...!"
"Then, you're saying......that the victims were alive at that time?!  Even though their necks were sliced open?!"
"Did you see that yourself, Miss Detective...?  It may be true that all corpses, no matter whose, would not lead to a mistaken autopsy, ......but it has never been said that there was a rule against something other than a corpse being called a corpse."

Erika swung her sickle recklessly, but Ronove blocked everything with elegant gestures made with the shield on one of his hands.
"S, ......so, at that point in time, no one was dead?!  There weren't even wounds on their necks?!  In that case, ...why did Battler scream?!"

"Better watch your feet, little girl.  .........Ushiromiya Kinzo is already dead at the starting time for all games!"
"Huh?!  Ah-"

A pitch black hole opened beneath Erika's feet and swallowed her up.
She could probably see through to the other side of the hole.

......It was the same thing you'd see if you looked down out of the skylight on the ceiling of this cathedral.
"Lia!!"
"Yes."
Virgilia could already be seen in midair inside the cathedral.

As Erika fell from the heavens, Virgilia was right below her and caught her on the end of a divine spear which sparkled blue!
"......Shouldn't you rethink your reasoning?  Kinzo doesn't exist.  Therefore, the way for the bodies to disappear in your theory is a failure."

"CORRECT.  ......Unless someone other than Kinzo makes the corpses disappear, your theory FAILS."

"Geh, ......gah, .........gammiiiiiiit, this is nothing............graggh...gah.........!!"
Virgilia's blue divine spear skewered and pinned Erika in midair.

Erika struggled, filled with hatred, but she couldn't get it out easily.
Then, all around her, ......several small, fast things clanged off the walls and enveloped her.


Then seven people manifested themselves at once.

"We are the Seven Sisters of Purgatory...!!  Know this, foe of our master!!"
"......You.........lowly paperweights.........!!"

"After George's death, his corpse was never moved!"
"After Jessica's death, her corpse was never moved!"
"After Maria's death, her corpse was never moved!"
"After Rosa's death, her corpse was never moved!"
"After Genji's death, his corpse was never moved!"
"After Krauss's death, his corpse was never moved!"

"Therefore, the corpses couldn't have vanished after being discovered!!  Your theory about Kinzo carrying the corpses away fails!"
"AAAaaaaaaarrggghhhhhhhghhh...!!!  But so what?  Even without Kinzo, I can explain how......the corpses disa-......, ......nnngg, ......gaaaaaaaaaggghhh!!  I, ...Furudo Erika, have to revise my theory......?!  Nnnnnngggaaaaaaaaaarrrrggghh!!  I do?!  ...The detective does?!!  Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrggghhhhh!!"
......Erika was probably capable of escaping this even with Kinzo's existence denied by making only a small revision to her theory.

However, ......to her, having to revise a theory she had already created............was extremely......humiliating!

"Looks like you toyed around with your plan too much in order to corner Natsuhi like that."
"You played around too much with your reasoning.  ......At this point, your master isn't the only one who can speak of Kinzo's death with the red truth."

"This is what you get for playing around in the witches' darkness.  ......Know that, Furudo Erika...!"
"Nngh, ......gggh, ggh.........!!"
Of course, even Erika had doubted Kinzo's existence from the beginning.

However, it had previously been impossible for anyone to deny his existence in that trial except for Bernkastel and Lambdadelta, who had sided with each other.

And because of the willful silence of those two, the truth about Kinzo had truly been unfixed.
And yet, to think that Battler......had become a witch......a sorcerer, and capable of using red without proof!!

However, she had her own Inquisitor of Heresy who could also use red without proof to counter!!

"D, Dlanoooooooooooorrrr!!!!"
"Knox's 2nd!!  It is forbidden for supernatural agencies to be employed as a detective technique!  If you would show that Kinzo has died with the red truth, then I demand that you display proof of a human's truth which could be used to make that point...!"

"......Forgive me, damn geezer."
"Overcome it, Battler.  Don't let my corpse stop you...!!"
"Presentation of evidence.  I'll present a corpse which could possibly be identified as Ushiromiya Kinzo's...!!"
"Can you prove that this corpse is Ushiromiya Kinzo's?!  No matter how much it resembles him, unless you can prove that it is him, it is possible to claim that it was a substitute corpse from someone ELSE!!  Can you show that it was Kinzo's corpse with the truth of HUMANS?!  In this case alone, and with the red truth specifically, no counter-argument will be effective...!!"

"......Ooh.  Any counter with the red truth will be ineffective?  I guess that works."
"It may be true that the existence of third-party corpses has already been denied with the red.  However, if saying that with the red is forbidden, ......*giggle*, Battler has nowhere to run to.  Heheheheheheheheheh!"
"That's right......  In this closed-off Rokkenjima, there is no objective way to show that this corpse is Grandfather's."

"And that itself suggests the possibility that this corpse is a body double!  This unidentifiable corpse cannot serve as proof of Kinzo's death...!!"

"......Checkmate...!!  My theory does not waver!!"
Dlanor had sealed off the red truth as a means of proving that Kinzo's corpse had been shown.
......Even with the power of witches, Battler couldn't argue back......!

".........How are you gonna prove that the corpse was Kinzo's if the red truth is sealed?  It's impossible.  ...It can't be done...!"
"......With red or blue, ...right......?"
"I guarantee that this corpse is Ushiromiya Kinzo's corpse...!!"
Then, ...when Dlanor......met with Battler's golden flash, .........she was unable to fully block it with either her red long sword or her blue short sword, ...and she was blown backwards into empty space...!
It was a direct hit......without any miscalculation.

Though she had always seemed as firm as a small giant before now, she was finally blasted away and slammed against the wall as though she was the slender girl she appeared to be...!
"D, ......Dlanor?!  Wh, what are you......"

"......A splendid golden TRUTH.  .........EFFECTIVE."
"......G, ......golden truth......?!"
The golden long sword, which had been drawing red and blue trails before now, finally drew a curve which retained its divine golden color.
The truth it showed......was neither red nor blue.

......It was golden...truth...!!!

"Wh, what is that...?  Lambda, does this follow the rules?!"

"..................Yes.  ......Golden truth, effective.  The gold truth.........can only be used by the territory lord of this world......no, ......only by the Game Master himself!!"
"Wh, ......what did you say............?"

"......Golden TRUTH.  A divine truth woven in a different fashion than the red TRUTH.  ......Its strength is on par with the red TRUTH.  ......It may sometimes be INFERIOR.  But it is sometimes SUPERIOR!!"
"That glitter......is proof that Battler-kun truly understands Beato."

".........I've shown it.  Shown that the corpse is Grandfather's."
"YES.  Golden truth, ......ACCEPTED.  Unless Lady Erika's theory undergoes some revision, it will be DESTROYED...!"

"Wh, ......what the......ah, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrgghhh!!!"

Erika cried out in pain.
......It wasn't the pain of her body being pierced.

It was the pain of her own theory being defiled...!
".........I see.  ......It's like 'And then there were no Ackroyds'.  ......Just when did this, ...........................*giggle*giggle*, ahhahahahaahahahahhaahahahahhahah!!  What a crazy string of great works!!"

"Battler, it would be excessively unrefined to say any more.  Even without saying another word, you've fully made your truth about the corpses' disappearance 'understood'!  I see, 'that thing' you're thinking of doesn't conflict with any of the red in this trial so far!  Your truth based around the revenge of the man from 19 years ago had been completely understood and processed!!  I proclaim that your truth has now been established!!"
"Wha.  What the...?!  Why is that, great Lady Lambdadelta?!!  He still hasn't explained everything...!!  I still have many ways to argue back, ......like Hideyoshi's closed room, the seal on Natsuhi's personal room and the button in the closet!"

"......So.  ......You still intend to argue back against Battler.........?"
"Ggah, ......gwwaagghgghggghhh.........!!!!"

Only Erika, the one who was supposedly so intelligent, couldn't understand.
......She couldn't understand that Battler had already found the real truth.
"Because of this, Grandfather's absence has been verified, and the dishonorable relationship between Natsuhi oba-san and Grandfather has been removed from consideration!!"
"Natsuhi oba-san is pure and faithful!  I won't permit this vulgar tale you're all so fond of!!"
".........B, .........Battler-kun......!!"

"Furthermore.  Because we have raised doubts about the time of death for all who have died so far, the alibis for everyone besides Natsuhi oba-san go back to square one...!!"

"If you try to argue that the crime was impossible for everyone except Natsuhi oba-san, it won't work!!"
Dlanor, who must have risen to her knees at some point, slowly stood up......
The flash from the golden long sword was still buried deep into her chest.

Though pain didn't show in her expression, her awkward movements clearly showed how serious the damage she had taken was.
Even though she herself knew that the match was long over by now...

Dlanor didn't abandon her duty...!
"However, in the cousins' room, you witnessed corpses which were impossible to MISIDENTIFY...!  Are you trying to say that was a FALSEHOOD?!  ...Knox's 7th, it is forbidden for the detective to be the CULPRIT!!  The detective is obligated to have an objective point of VIEW.  Your theory violates this OBLIGATION!!"
"Furudo Erika is the detective in this game, not me!!  And by Knox's 9th, it is permitted for observers to let their own conclusions and interpretations be heard...!!"
"Knox's 8th, it is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not PRESENTED!  Until now, you have been the DETECTIVE!  Was it ever shown that you were not the detective this time, and that you were an observer with a subjective VIEWPOINT?!!  Unless it was, you do not have the right to falsify your point of VIEW!!"

"In this game!  When I figured out the device of the epitaph's riddle, I witnessed Grandfather.  ......As has already been shown in red, Grandfather doesn't exist.  It was impossible for me to witness him!  Therefore, it has already been shown that my viewpoint wasn't objective!!"

"It is possible that it was just a sheet or something fluttering in the wind and rain which you mistook for Kinzo.  It cannot be used as foreshadowing to form a basis for Knox's 9th...!!  Mistaking things for something else is a right permitted to all observers!!"
"There's the red truth which Beato showed during the 4th game!!  No person would mistake Ushiromiya Kinzo by sight!"
It's the red truth Beato used to counter my blue truth claim that 'someone disguised themselves as Kinzo' to make it seem as though Grandfather had appeared.
In other words, on this island, all illusions which might lead someone to mistake something for Grandfather, including someone else pretending to be Grandfather, 'most certainly cannot work'.
All of Natsuhi oba-san's schemes to make it seem that Grandfather existed were hidden in the relatives' blind spots, all of them clever tricks like 'he was here just a second ago' or 'he's in his study alone now'.

They never tried to make anyone mistake something they saw for Grandfather himself, so there are no contradictions.

If they had tried to dress one of the servants in Grandfather's robe..., it would probably have been seen through in an instant......
It has been guaranteed that none of the characters in this tale would 'mistake something for Grandfather by sight'...!

If someone still claims to have seen Grandfather, it becomes a 'falsehood'.
Allowing falsehoods to be contained within their observations is a right granted to everyone......except for just one person.

And that person is 'the detective'...!!
"Because of the right granted by Knox's 9th, people are allowed to mistake a sheet in the wind for anything else and tell about it.  ......However!  Mistaking it for Grandfather in particular is not permitted in this game due to the red truth!!"

"......So, once you claimed to have seen Kinzo, it was no longer misrecognition...but INTENTIONAL.  ......In other words, this proves that the observer wasn't objective...is what you are SAYING......?"


In this case, unintentional 'misrecognition' it is not permitted by the rules of this game.
However, it is possible to intentionally 'lie about seeing' something you never saw...!!

And that is an action not permitted to a 'detective' burdened with the responsibility of an impartial perspective......

"Forgive my crazy argument...  It's all finished now."
"No, it's ALRIGHT."


............If a man like you is in this WORLD.
You will surely protect the fragile truth from any kind of ARROGANCE.

You will surely protect the real truth from the tyranny of any plausible truth...that might claim to exist as the sole truth and try to exterminate all fragile TRUTHS...!!
Battler's golden long sword.........drew a massive blue arc as though splitting the heavens.

"I'm glad I could fight with YOU...!!"

"Therefore, my perspective in this game is based upon the 9th, not the 7th...!!  The fact that I claimed to have seen Grandfather is proooooooooooofff!!!"
......The noise which rang out across the cathedral.........was the sound of Dlanor's long sword clattering to the floor.

Simply letting go of that was the same as resigning to the proud Dlanor.
Though the blue trail Battler had drawn was aiming right for the top of Dlanor's head, .........it stopped a hair's breadth away.........

If it hadn't, Dlanor would probably have been annihilated without leaving a single scrap of flesh behind.
".........I RESIGN.  ......I give up on denying your TRUTH..."

"I've paid my debt.  ......Let honor be to your father.  ......The Decalogue was neither arrogant nor judgmental...!"

"H, ......honor to...my FATHER........."

Dlanor......sat down on the floor......and completely abandoned her will to fight.
"Wh, ......what are you doing, Dlanor?!!  Lame, pathetic!!  You stupid half-wit murder doll!!  You've tainted the honor of your own father, shame on you!!  You still call yourself mystery's wedges?!  Will you surrender to magic?!  The history of the mystery genre won't allow that!!"

".........You're the one......that doesn't understand what mystery is all about.  ......If you see mystery as nothing more than a weapon with which to sneer at your opponent intellectually, ......I won't let you ever say so again!!"

"......B, .........Battleeeeeeeeee...eeer......!!!"

"I'll present a truth that conflicts with yours!!  Natsuhi oba-san was threatened by a phone call over the internal line sent by the man from 19 years ago, me!"

"His goal was to make Natsuhi oba-san look like a murderer...!!  From the beginning, this has all been a drama of revenge intent on framing Natsuhi oba-san...!!"

"Th, that's wrong, it's a drama of revenge against the Ushiromiya family that Natsuhi thought up!!  Your theory outright opposes mine!!"

"......You still can't pull out the blue spear that's sticking through you, right?"
"Yeah, that's right.  From Erika, I haven't heard of a single way for the corpses to disappear that doesn't involve Kinzo.  Looks like your theory is about to be denied, doesn't it?!"
"Th, this spear is just............ugh, ......gaaaaahh......!!  You paperweights......get out of my way.........!"
......The deeply piercing blue spear and the seven red stakes tormented her theory.

They won't come out.........
they won't come out.........!!

"............I acknowledge the mistake in Erika's reasoning and the need for revision."
"Wh, ......what the......, my master?!?!"

Watching Erika's face contort with pain as she struggled to escape from the spear, Bernkastel spoke this with a disgusted expression.

Faced with the facts, ...Bernkastel had acknowledged Erika's loss herself.

Erika gazed at her master, who was no longer confident about Erika's own victory, with a mixture of shock and despair...

"......I don't give a damn about your pride.  How long do you intend to shame yourself like that?  ......You, my double who's been granted the same blue hair as me, ......how long do you intend to hang there pierced through like that......?  I guess I'll just have to descend myself......"

".........Looks like I didn't need a piece after all.  Aah, what a pain, what a pain, what a total pain...  I don't need a piece, I'll just throw it away, yeah, that disappointing, regretful, discouraging, hopeless let-down of a misfire...!!  ......Do it quickly, filth!!  Didn't I tell you to revise that pathetic theory of yours?!?!"

"Ooh, ......agh...hh..., ......y, yes, my master...!!  I'll revise it...I'll revise my theory...!!  Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggghhhh......!!"

As Erika's face twisted in humiliation and tears streamed from her eyes, she withdrew and revised her own theory in accordance with her master's order......
Mumbling quietly, she made various revisions with the blue truth, had them acknowledged by Lambdadelta, and finally had the blue spear smashed and was freed......

Though that blue truth did indeed explain how the corpses had disappeared, ......it couldn't conceal its desperation and was a bit of truly shabby reasoning.

".........My master...............I, ......I've taken it out............My theory.........is perfect......"

"Are you kidding me?  It's horribly pathetic.  .........But I'll forgive you.  Because your face and your theory are so lame it's funny!  *giggle*giggle*giggle*giggle*giggle*!!!"

Erika was taunted by her master, who wore an ugly expression.
She thrashed about on the floor, crying bitter tears.

The wounded Dlanor stepped out before her, as though shielding her, and she spoke to Bernkastel, as well as Battler.

"......Regardless of how pathetic it might BE, ......Lady Erika's revised truth is EFFECTIVE."
"Yeah, that's right.  Regardless of my truth, yours can exist at the same time.  ......That's what this world is like.  No one can disprove them, so even if there are various truths and even if they contradict each other wildly, they can exist at the same time.  Here, as many truths exist as you can imagine.  No one can just deny that all on their own...!"

"YES, that is TRUE.  ......I won't let anyone deny Lady Erika's TRUTH."
"D, ......Dlanor........."

"As long as I'm here, I will protect that TRUTH.  ......No matter how pathetic it is, I will not laugh at that TRUTH."
"Aah, ......waaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!"
......The words of Dlanor, whom Erika had previously looked down upon, led Erika to once again thrash about on the floor, sobbing.

"And.  Because no unique truth exists, everything is covered in darkness.  ......Therefore.  While both my theory and Erika's theory are impossible to deny, neither is a unique truth.  They are vague, and while neither can be denied, neither is certain...!!"

"Because there has been no decision, the Illusion of the Witch still exists.  .........The only one who will be permitted to expose that is neither Erika nor the rest of you.  ......It's me alone!  I won't let anyone expose Beatrice's illusion except me!!!"
"The verdict is revised...!!  Because of the truth presented by Ushiromiya Battler, Erika's truth is no longer unique!  However, Erika's truth is impossible to disprove!  Therefore, both of their truths exist together!  The conclusion of the 5th game is rescinded!"
"The game goes back to being even!!  And I transfer the position of Game Master from myself to the Golden Sorcerer, Ushiromiya Battler!!"
"Ushiromiya Battler, step forward!!  I appoint you as the new Game Master!!  Will you accept?  You will, right?!  Do it, you new Endless Witch!!!"
"Yeah!!  I'm the new Game Master!!  I'll weave the 6th game...!!"
"Erika, let's settle things for good this time!!  Stand up!!"

"......Y, ......yes, ......I will stand............I'll make you regret......giving me a chance to clear away this shame......!!!  My master, please give me an opportunity to fight with Battler again in the 6th game!!"
".........Sure.  Of course I'll give you a chance."

"Wow, incredible.  She said 'I'll give you a chance'.  Isn't this a miracle?  The Witch of Miracles, Bernkastel."

".........Erika.  You've miraculously managed to escape with your life.  ......In the 6th game, ...Battler's game, .........expose the truth no matter what...  Unless you want to be tossed aside into the darkness of oblivion!!"

"Y, yes, my master...!!!  .........Dl, ......Dlanor..."
"Of COURSE.  I will give it my all in the next game as WELL."

"Heh, ......heheheheheheh!!  I won't pretend to be a guest any longer.  ......Together with Dlanor, I'll tear your game to bits!!"
"Sure.  I'll invite you to my 6th game...!!  Sorry, but that title of yours...<Checkmate of the>..., isn't cutting it."

"It's your game.  You can decide the name yourself!  Just bring it on...!!  I, Furudo Erika, ............am a detective before I am a witch!!  I acknowledge you as the new master of this game, ......and I issue a proclamation of war!!  I'll definitely......definitely expose it all!!  I'll kill you!!  Golden Sorcerer, Ushiromiya Battler!!!"

"Yeah, come at me with all you've got!!  Furudo Erikaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!"
Just watch, Beato.  ......I'll take charge of your game!!

And in this next game, I'll prove that I completely understand all of your riddles...!!