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File 140440936219.png - (271.45KB , 640x480 , 139440531171.png )
15381 No. 15381 edit
Within the smoking room, two figures sat at either end of the chessboard, watching the pieces mill about and fade out of existence, as they had countless times before.

"I've already told you. You can't create such a gameboard, it's impossible." The witch's voice, muted somewhat by the smoky atmosphere, faded into silence, her companion's only response being a dissatisfied grunt as he began to set up the pieces again. "You realize only a miracle will make this work, right? A miracle I won't allow to exist." She laughed mirthlessly, and leaned back into her chair, awaiting her opponent's response.

Her companion paused, rolling the piece of the detective between finger and thumb as he mused, before finally speaking up.

"I can still try. Even if it's going to fail, it'll be amusing, don't you think?" With those words, he let the piece tumble down into the gameboard, ringing out as it landed amongst the several others. And so, for the umpteenth time, the tragedy of Rokkenjima began to play out.
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>> No. 15382 edit
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15382
Welcome to my first Gameboard! Before anything else, shoutouts to Ozaki for helping me refine this and just generally letting me bounce ideas off him.

There is no need for a proposition, as Rika-Beatrice has already accepted my challenge. This post serves only to list the rules by which the gameboard will operate. It should be a given by now, but as always, the game will begin with the detective washing up on the island, having fallen off a cruise ship or whatnot.

1) Your piece is the character of Erika. That is to say, metagaming is prohibited to an extent. Preparing for your survival on an island of strangers is one thing. Rushing to Kinzo's study and barricading yourself in before the murders start is another.

2) Your win condition is to solve the mystery presented. As always, there will be a seperate phase of the game where you will present your theories in blue, and I will strike them down in red. Details on the exact nature of the endgame will be covered in-depth at that time.

3) This gameboard follows the relevant commandments of Knox's Decalogue, in particular #8; It is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not presented. All clues neccessary for you to win will be provided on the gameboard, and I will do my utmost to ensure you witness them.

4) Whilst you are not the target of the culprit, unnecessary meddling may lead to your death before the conclusion of the mystery. You will be warned away from situations that may lead to this, and your death prior to the end of the mystery will result in a stalemate.

5) Your piece will be recognised as an intelligent and competent individual by the inhabitants of the island.

6) Your piece may not leave Rokkenjima. In this gameboard, "leaving Rokkenjima" is defined as going beyond a kilometre from the island. You are free, however, to swim should you feel the need.

7) Your piece has no prior connection to anyone on Rokkenjima.

8) At points in the story, your understanding of events will be challenged. Other characters will put forwards theories as to how events have transpired, and you will be tasked with either proving them wrong, or presenting a more plausible argument. There is no penalty for losing, however winning will provide a small benefit during the endgame.

The gameboard will begin shortly after you post to confirm your participation. For the early stages, a slow pace will not be a problem, but in the interest of, well, maintaining interest, I suggest that once the murders begin, we set aside one or two days at a time to push through most of the content.
The difficulty of this game is moderate. For an experienced player like you, the tricks should be obvious, for the most part. Enjoy your stay.

Last edited at 14/07/03(Thu)10:44:26
>> No. 15387 edit
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15387
>>15381
Oh, I'm sorry for the delay! Those conditions seem fine, and I'm ready to start whenever you are.
>> No. 15410 edit
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15410
Without further ado then.

------

You struggle awake, the cold leeching the energy from your body with every passing moment. Your clothes, or what remain of them, are soaked through, and the gritty sand stings as it creeps into the cuts that criss-cross your arms. Your mind is swimming in fog. Hardly surprising, given the way you crashed into those rocks on your way to shore. As comfortable as it is on the beach, letting the waves crash against your body, you should probably do something about your situation...
>> No. 15411 edit
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15411
>>15410
I use all of my willpower to force myself to get up and examine my surroundings.
>> No. 15412 edit
You stagger to your feet, and take a glance about, and consider yourself lucky. Not far to your left lies a cliff-face surrounded by jagged rocks. No doubt had you been thrown against that, you'd be in much worse shape.

In front of you lies a dense forest, however, to your right, the beach continues on, becoming progressively more sandy. You fancy that you can hear voices from that direction, but the crashing of the waves and your pounding headache make it difficult to be certain.
>> No. 15413 edit
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15413
>>15412
For lack of any better option, I'll start slowly moving in the direction of the voices. If I enough strength, I try to call out to them as well.
>> No. 15414 edit
You begin to make your way down the beach, finding it difficult to merely place one foot in front of the other in your current state. After what feels like an age of walking, the voices are clear enough to hear. Your attempts to cry out for help are snatched away by the same wind that carries their words to your ears.

"... No need to worry, hoh hoh! Contrary to what Madam thinks, Gohda and I are more than capable..."

"I'm glad to hear that. Everything must be in order for the conference..."

The outlines of two elderly individuals swim into your vision, floating some way out above the water. It takes you a moment to comprehend that they're standing on a jetty, and by that time, they have already noticed your presence.
The woman shrieks, a harsh noise that pierces the air, however the man cuts her off before she can cause any permanent damage to your eardrums.

"Kumasawa, please find Dr. Nanjo and inform him that his services are needed. I shall escort our guest back." The woman nods, needing no further encouragement, and flees away up a path into the woods. In the meantime, the man drops down off the jetty and approaches you, offering his arm for support.

"Are you quite alright, miss?"
>> No. 15415 edit
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15415
>>15414
"Do I look alright to you?" I snap at him, and then ruin the effect somewhat by immediately staggering and frantically grabbing on to his arm for support. "Where am I, anyway? Who are you people?"
>> No. 15416 edit
The man steadies you, and takes your first rude comment on the chin like the perfect furniture he is. He does, however, choose to respond to the questions that follow, in the same monotone that he addressed you with earlier.

"This is the island of Rokkenjima, and residence of Ushiromiya Krauss, head of the Ushiromiya family. I am Genji, head servant on the island, and the woman who was in our company up until recently is Kumasawa, one of the serving staff. I am sure you have further questions, however I would recommend that they wait until after you are seen to by Dr Nanjo, the resident physician. Whatever has befallen you must have been a great stress."

Upon finishing, he gestures up the path that Kumasawa recently took to escape your company, and begins steering you off the beach and onto it.
>> No. 15417 edit
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15417
>>15416
I decide to take his advice to stay quiet for now and allow him to continue guiding me without complaint.
>> No. 15418 edit
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15418
The two of you walk in silence, and soon the crashing of the waves behind you is muted as you make your way up the forest path. After a mere few minutes of walking through the shade, the trees suddenly peel away, and you are spat out onto a gravel track connecting a sumptuous looking mansion, and an equally well-kept, albeit somewhat-smaller guesthouse. The two of you enter the latter, and you immediately turn right into a living area, where Genji deposits you on an armchair before returning to the hallway.

"Dr. Nanjo, are you here?" He turns about, and heads for the stairs, before a female voice responds, however you fail to catch the owner's words from your position. After a few moments hushed discussion, you hear one set for footsteps leave through the front door, and another rush about upstairs, before charging down the stairs.

Another servant, female this time, comes into view, holding a bulging doctor's bag, which she places carefully to one side of your chair, before explaining herself. You can't help but notice some sort of golden tattoo on her thigh as she bows before you.

"Genji has gone to fetch Dr Nanjo, and will be back shortly. Until then, he has asked me to see to anything you should need, miss."
>> No. 15419 edit
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15419
>>15418
"Well, I must say I'm impressed by the service. Thank you for your help, but I really don't need anything right now, or not that I can think of anyway. Sorry. I'm so tired I can barely think."

I close my eyes and clutch my head, hopefully staving off any further conversation while I wait for Nanjo to arrive.
>> No. 15420 edit
BGM:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nivz895rGYc

You see the servant bow again before you close your eyes, however you fail to fall asleep or any such thing. You hear the servant busy herself with something behind the bar, and time passes uneventfully for a while.

As the grandfather clock in the corner strikes 10, you hear several sets of footsteps approach up the gravel path. Soon afterwards, you hear the three owners enter the room, and begin talking to one another. One of them approaches you, and rustles noisily through the doctor's bag, before taking your pulse.

"Poor girl looks wretched. I don't suppose she told you what happened?"

"No, sir."

"Her pulse and breathing seem stable, although she seems a little cold..."
>> No. 15427 edit
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15427
>>15420
I'll keep my eyes closed and allow them to continue. There's probably nothing to be gained from conversation at this point, even if I were feeling up to it.
>> No. 15428 edit
The voices lull for a while, and you feel the doctor's hand on your neck briefly, before he addresses the rest of the room.

"It doesn't look like anything serious, more than likely just shock and exhaustion. I recommend letting her sleep for now, and painkillers or the like. Perhaps a sedative-"

"Very good, Dr. Nanjo, very good. You may leave us now." You hear a heavy set of footsteps move towards the door, then suddenly return to you as the doctor picks up his bag before leaving. "Genji, please return to your duties, and... Shannon, finish up packing. Inform someone if our guest wakes up." The other two leave the room, and their footsteps fade away into nothing, leaving you and the female servant alone in the room. Eventually, if you choose not to 'wake up', she too will leave, and go upstairs.

(If you wish, you may sleep and rest up. You will be in perfect condition upon waking.)
>> No. 15429 edit
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15429
>>15428
I'll wait for Shannon to leave, then get up and have a look around the room.
>> No. 15430 edit
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15430
The living room is as nicely furnished as one would expect from a private mansion, with several comfortable chairs and a sofa around a coffee table. To one side of the room is a bar, stocked with various expensive spirits, and topped with several glasses, which you assume that Shannon must have been cleaning whilst you feigned sleep.

Next to the sole door into the room is a grandfather clock, which reads just after 10 am. The window behind you looks out onto the forest, and you notice that the poor weather you arrived with has passed.
>> No. 15431 edit
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15431
>>15430
I suppose I'll just go to sleep for now, since I'm probably too tired to go exploring or anything.
>> No. 15432 edit
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15432
Your eyes close, and you fall into a deep, heavy sleep.

When the detective's eyes are closed, the island is the playground of the witch. As you muster your strength, she musters hers. Time speeds up, and pieces gather in preparation for her arrival.
>> No. 15433 edit
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15433
The clock chimes, calling out 4 p.m. and your eyes snap open. The earlier ache is gone, and you feel renewed. Convenient, as it seems you will is about to be tested.

One of the men from before enters the room, muttering an 'ah' of approval upon noticing that you've awoken.

"Good afternoon. My name is Ushiromiya Krauss, head of the Ushiromiya family. I apologise for whatever circumstances that brought you to Rokkenjima. Please, feel free to stay as long as you need."

He coughs into his right hand, and you notice a large, ornate ring on his middle finger, before he drops it, and continues.

"I don't believe that Genji caught your name when he brought you here, nor for that matter, did Shannon."
>> No. 15434 edit
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15434
>>15433
"Ah, I'm sorry. I am called Furudo Erika. My deepest apologies for disturbing you members of the Ushiromiya family like this. ......I am truly grateful for your warm welcome, despite my status as an uninvited guest. I must have happened to wash up here after falling from the cruise ship that I was on...It's truly a miracle that I'm still alive. Krauss-sama, how long do you think I'll be remaining here for before I can return? Would it be possible to contact my family and inform them of the situation? I'm sure they're worried sick about me right now..."
>> No. 15435 edit
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15435
"If you wish to make a call off the island, Genji can help you with that. We attempted to radio any nearby ships after you were brought here, however we failed to make contact, nor did we receive any transmissions. You disappearance must not have been noticed until after the ship was out of range, I'm afraid.

As for you leaving, with luck, you should be able to by this evening, or if not, tomorrow morning. A boat will be bringing several members of the Ushiromiya family for our annual conference shortly, and will then be taking another passenger to a neighboring island. I'll ask the captain to return here, then take you to the port town of Niijima once his other errands are done.

As it seems you will be in our company for a while, I hope you don't mind me asking a small favour of you."

Last edited at 14/07/08(Tue)14:12:00
>> No. 15436 edit
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15436
>>15435
"Ah, thank you, I'm very relieved to hear that. And...a favour? Certainly, I'd be happy for any chance to repay your kindness, but I can't imagine what a stranger like me could possibly help you with...What did you have in mind?"
>> No. 15437 edit
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15437
"I'm afraid you've caught us at a poor time. The family conference is always a charged affair, and this year will be no different. The presence of an extra person will no doubt add to this, so I ask that if if my siblings accuse you of being part of some underhanded move on my part, you pay them no mind.

Despite this, I would be indebted to you if you would sit in on some of the discussions that take place at this event. All too often, people get caught up in it and say things that they regret later. Perhaps a stranger at the table might cool people's heads this time."

Krauss glances at the clock, and nods to himself.

"They should be here any moment. If you're in any state to walk, would you accompany me to the dock? It would be best to introduce you immediately, rather than spring a surprise on them later."
>> No. 15438 edit
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15438
>>15437
"Ah, I'd certainly be willing to do that. As long as my presence wouldn't be considered intrusive, of course. After all, I wouldn't be alive if it weren't for you, so I'm happy to help in any way I can." And I get to hear important discussions without even having to eavesdrop, I internally add to myself. A detective could hardly ask for a better situation!

I agree to go to the dock with him. Assuming we're not interrupted on the way, while we're walking I'll ask him:
"By the way, if you don't mind me asking, what exactly goes on at this 'family conference'? From what you're saying, it sounds like rather more of a serious affair than an ordinary family get-together."

Last edited at 14/07/08(Tue)14:42:19
>> No. 15439 edit
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15439
"Excellent." The two of you promptly leave the guesthouse, and retrace the path you'd ascended with Genji earlier.

En-route, Kruass sighs in response to your question, before answering carefully. "My father, Ushiromiya Kinzo, is an extremely wealthy man, and absurdly eccentric. He forgoes contact with any human being outside of some of the serving staff, and has all but disowned the entirety of our family. These conferences started as an attempt by my siblings to win him around, and learn the fate of his fortune upon his death."

Krauss chuckles to himself briefly, before closing off. "This year will be no different, I imagine."
>> No. 15440 edit
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15440
You arrive at the dock shortly after, the boat having already arrived, and some of it's passengers already alighting. You notice Kumasawa, Shannon, and Genji among them, handling suitcases to-and-from the boat, however you're probably the only person who pays them any attention.

Before Krauss has a chance to speak up, one of the females approaches the pair of you, her chuckling husband in tow.

"Krauss, who is this? What on earth are you-"

"Now now Eva dear, there's no need ta get-"

"If you'd allow me to speak-"

The three of them continue to talk over one another, their voices raising. You should probably intervene before they cause a scene, although the bickering seems to have already attracted the attention of the other passengers.
>> No. 15441 edit
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15441
>>15440
I decide to silently observe until I'm addressed directly. Adding my own voice would only make things even more chaotic, and I wouldn't want to interfere with Krauss's judgment on how he wants to introduce me.
>> No. 15451 edit
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15451
After what feels like an age of Krauss re-explaining your presence and making sure everyone is clear that he is not responsible for your arrival, introductions finally begin. By this time, everyone is already off the boat, and well aware of what has happened. Eva's suspicions aside, they seem cordial, and one by one, you swap names with Eva, Hideyoshi, George, Kyrie, Rudolf, Battler, Rosa, and Maria. Whilst all this continues, Genji and Shannon continue to shift things on and off the boat, until the former attracts the attention of Krauss with a polite cough, and the captain of the boat himself alights.
>> No. 15453 edit
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15453
Krauss in turn beckons you over, and begins talking to the captain of the boat, whose name you soon pick up as Kawabata. You manage to catch a few words, but the conversaation quickly comes to an end before you pick up much else.

"No trouble, no trouble at all! Just give me a few hours to ferry the other miss over, and I'll be right back to pick her up." The captain offers you a wink, and Krauss nods agreeably, before turning to Genji and Shannon, who have remained near the boat. There's an uncomfortable silence in the air, before he nods again, and turns on his heel back towards the family, and begins leading them back to the mansion. Genji follows suit, and the captain and Shannon embark on the boat, shortly followed by the engine churning to life. The captain offers you a wave, before disappearing below deck, and the boat chugs away from the pier.
>> No. 15454 edit
BGM:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXxcPtTlYQQ

As you turn your back away from the departing ship, the gameboard turns grey, and time suddenly halts. Without warning, a flash of red tears through the air, and two sentences are burned into the back of your mind.

From this moment forwards, no human arrives on Rokkenjima.

From this moment forwards, no human leaves Rokkenjima.



You choose to follow Genji, and group back up with your new acquaintances. It seems that several conversations are already in full swing: the cousins seem to be discussing Shannon's departure, Rudolf, Kyrie and Rosa appear to be talking about your appearance on the island, and lastly, Eva, Hideyoshi and Krauss are discussing the health of 'Father'.

(You may choose to engage in any of these discussions, or eavesdrop on any of them.)
>> No. 15455 edit
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15455
>>15454
Though I must admit to being very curious as to what the adults might be saying about me, I'll try to eavesdrop on the cousins for now.
>> No. 15456 edit
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15456
You hover just within earshot of the three, and manage to pick up most of their conversation.

"Man, what was that all about? Shipping her off with not even a goodbye..." Battler mutters, raising an eyebrow.

"I bet my mother's behind this, somehow. Since she and dad found out about us, she's been dead-set against it." George's tone is downtrodden, and he seems to be voicing his thoughts rather than actually talking to the other two.

"Uuuu... George can't lose hope. If you don't keep loving Shannon-" Maria's irritating voice is mercifully cut off by Rosa, who grabs her and tugs her away from the two boys, cuffing her around the ear in response to the grating noise.

"... Well, that's a small relief. Still, do you really think uncle Krauss would send Shannon away just at her request? They're not exactly on the best of terms right now." As if having heard Battler, you hear Eva's voice rise in pitch ahead, as Krauss continues to try and keep her calm.

"Maybe you're right. Shannon mentioned something about last year-" George cuts himself off, and turns his head towards you, smiling. It seems you've been caught out.

"Oh, sorry Erika. Kind of rude of us not to include you in our little chat." Battler laughs it off, before moving on. "You know, from the looks of you, I'd have put more money on you falling from heaven than from a ship-" Before he can continue, George elbows him roughly, a smile returning to his face.

"Forgive my cousin, I promise he's not as bad as first impressions might show. Is there anything you'd wish to talk about?"
>> No. 15457 edit
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15457
>>15456
"Oh, it's alright. I wouldn't want to intrude on your personal conversations." I lower my voice a little. "But I couldn't help but overhear you talking; George-san, it sounds like you have some kind of special relationship with Shannon? Krauss-sama has been quite open with me so far, so if it would give you any peace of mind, I could try asking him why he's sent her away when I get a chance."

Of course, I was going to ask about it anyway to satisfy my own curiosity, but making it seem like I'm doing George a favour seems like a good way of getting on his good side and possibly gaining some leverage over him later.

Last edited at 14/07/20(Sun)12:52:12
>> No. 15458 edit
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15458
George seems hesitant at first, but once battler pics up his cue and moves on ahead with the rest of the adults, he opens up a little.

"Shannon and I are.. Well, in love, to put it bluntly. We meet relatively regularly outside of the family conferences, and I planned on proposing to her over the course of this weekend, but..." He sighs, ruffling a hand through his hair as the two of you begin the final approach to the mansion grounds proper.

"My mother's full of hate for Shannon. She wants me to marry for status and wealth, rather than love. We don't see eye-to-eye there, obviously." He laughs bitterly, before continuing. "We had a big argument less than a week ago, so I can't be happy with putting it down to coincidence. If you could get the truth out of uncle Krauss somehow, I'd be hugely grateful."

Your conversation comes to an end as the company reaches the rose gardens, at which point Genji breaks off from the rest of the group towards the guesthouse, along with most of the luggage. The rest of you follow Krauss into the mansion.
>> No. 15459 edit
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15459
Upon reaching the entrance hall, you feel a chill sweep through you, and you notice some other members of the group shivering. Before you looms a huge, imposing painting of a woman in elegant finery, her golden hair pinned up in a bun. The eyes seem to stare through you, and although you're now inside, you're sure you feel colder.

An uneasy silence settles over everyone, before Krauss coughs politely, attracting everyone's attention. However, before he can utter a word, a thunderous crash rings out from upstairs, followed by a furious scream and the slam of a door. Krauss suddenly excuses himself and hurries upstairs, only for another servant to suddenly appear from one of the many doors into the hall, this one younger, and more portly, than any you've seen before.

"Uh... If you would all kindly follow me to the parlor? Master Krauss will return shortly, I'm sure."

Most of the group follow him off into one of the doors on the left, however, Kyrie and Rudolf make a point of lingering in front of the portrait, conversing in hushed tones. You seem to have been forgotten by the family, for now at least.
>> No. 15460 edit
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15460
>>15459
I'll try to listen in on Rudolf and Kyrie's conversation, if at all possible. If they're speaking too quietly for me to hear without being obviously intrusive, then I'll follow the others to the parlor.

Last edited at 14/07/20(Sun)14:10:21
>> No. 15461 edit
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15461
Their hushed tones make it difficult to pick up everything, but thanks to your perfect hearing, you manage to catch the odd phrase.

"... guess this confirms her theory... and the ring..."

"Eva's... ,you think? Still, we should wait..."

"... Don't worry, even if it comes..."

"Not like any... can..."

Rudolf leans in close to Kyrie, and whatever he whispers seems to make her chuckle, before she hugs herself and shivers. Sensing that their conversation is almost at a close, you slip into the parlor. Mere moments later, they follow suit.
>> No. 15462 edit
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15462
The atmosphere in the parlor is tense beyond belief. The new servant (whose name you pick up as being Gohda) and Kumasawa are already handing out tea, however it seems to be doing little for the mood in the room. Kyrie and Rudolf plant themselves on a sofa near Battler, and you notice that everyone has already returned to their family groups: Eva, Hideyoshi and George around one table, Rosa and Maria near the window. You hear the word 'epitaph' murmered several times by several people, even Maria seems to have picked up on the significance of the word, and is bouncing excitedly near her mother.

As Gohda offers you a cup, you catch him looking at Kumasawa, and the other servant nodding meaninfully back at him, before she slips past you and out the sole door into the room.
>> No. 15463 edit
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15463
>>15462
I go over to Rosa and Maria. Thinking that Maria is probably the most likely to be receptive to my question without being offended, I ask the two of them: "Pardon my rudeness, but if you wouldn't mind telling me, what exactly is this 'epitaph' that everyone is talking about? Everyone seems to be quite excited over it."
>> No. 15464 edit
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15464
Maria seems ecstatic to talk about the epitaph, and before Rosa can get a word in edgeways, she launches into an explanation. "They're talking about the witch's epitaph! It's a riddle grandfather gave to us, and whoever solves it wins four treasures, granted by the Golen Witch Beatrice, whose revival is a part of the riddle. It may be gone now, but Maria has it memorised!"

"Maria, pl-" Rosa tries to interject, however, by this point Maria is too full of steam to be stopped, and she launches into her recital loudly, attracting the whole room's attention.

"Behold the sweetfish river running through my beloved hometown.
You who seek the Golden Land, follow its path downstream in search of the key.

As you travel down it, you will see a village.
In that village, look for the shore the two will tell you of.
There sleeps the key to the Golden Land.

The one who obtains the key must then travel to the Golden Land in accordance with these rules.

On the first twilight, offer the six chosen by the key as sacrifices.
On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close.
On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name.
On the fourth twilight, gouge the head and kill.
On the fifth twilight, gouge the chest and kill.
On the sixth twilight, gouge the stomach and kill.
On the seventh twilight, gouge the knee and kill.
On the eighth twilight, gouge the leg and kill.
On the ninth twilight, the witch shall revive, and none shall be left alive.
On the tenth twilight, the journey shall end, and you shall reach the capital where the gold dwells.

The witch shall praise the wise and bestow four treasures.
One shall be all the gold from the Golden Land.
One shall be the resurrection of all the dead souls.
One shall be the resurrection of the love that was lost.
One shall be to put the witch to sleep for all time.


Sleep peacefully, my most beloved witch, Beatrice."

At some point, Maria must have stood up, for she finishes with a smile and a polite curtsey to her captive audience.

By the time she has finished, the whole room is looking at her intently. The silence is broken by a low whistle, courtesy of Battler. After that, standard conversation resumes, although Eva takes a moment to come over and congratulate Maria on her excellent memory. Whilst her daughter is busy, Rosa sighs, and offers you a weary look.

"I'm sorry. My daughter has always been obsessed with Beatrice, so this new development has really set her off. Still, thank you for indulging her. I hope that she won't be too much of a nuisance over the course of the conference."

Last edited at 14/07/20(Sun)15:59:52
>> No. 15465 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15465
>>15464
"Oh, it's quite alright. It certainly is an intriguing puzzle, though. I love that sort of thing. But, what does Maria-chan mean when she says that the epitaph is 'gone'? And why is everyone so worked up about it?"

Last edited at 14/07/23(Wed)10:57:35
>> No. 15466 edit
File 140614068174.jpg - (83.99KB , 640x480 , scr_22.jpg )
15466
"Just what it sounds like. The epitaph used to be on a plaque underneath Beatrice's portrait, but it's been removed. We've assumed for some time that it was a challenge set by father; whoever solved it would be his successor, but-"

"But nothing. We've been beaten, Rosa." Rudolf interjects, his usual smirk missing from his face. "If the epitaph is gone, someone solved it in the time between this and the previous conference. It doesn't take a genius to guess who."

the conversation falls into a lull after this. It seems no-one's willing to voice what they're all thinking.
>> No. 15467 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15467
>>15466
"...Hmm. I see. Thank you for explaining. By the way, what do you think that big crash was earlier? It sounded quite serious, and Krauss-san still isn't back yet..."
>> No. 15468 edit
Rudolf laughs, before filling you in. "Well, judging by the look on his face when he scarpered, I'd put good money on it being either his wife or his daughter kicking up a fuss. Natsuhi's calm enough usually, but Jessica got her vicious streak from somewhere, and it certainly wasn't her dad."

"Contrary to Battler, who clearly got his terrible flirting skills from his father." Kyrie chimes in smugly, eliciting twin shouts of disagreement from the rest of her family.

The attempt to lighten the mood works, however, and conversation shifts towards the cousins and their respective inherited traits. Whilst this goes on, you notice Kumasawa slink back into the room, and whisper something to Gohda, who flees hurriedly, leaving the door swinging in his wake.

Moments later, Genji arrives, casting a stern eye over the surroundings, before delivering his message.

"Master Krauss wishes to inform you that dinner will be served shortly. Please, make your way to the dining room."

The group obediently begins to file out of the room and towards the dining hall. Upon entering, discussion begins regarding seating plans. Whilst the head of the table is apparently always reserved for Kinzo and Krauss' family, there seems to be some disagreement regarding who should be allowed to sit where. Eventually, it's decided that the cousins will sit at the far end of the table, whilst the adults sit near the end closest to the door. As a result, you find yourself with Kyrie on your left, and an empty seat on your right, with Battler being your closest neighbor on that side.
>> No. 15469 edit
File 140614487412.jpg - (129.24KB , 640x480 , scr_23.jpg )
15469
The adults begin to make small talk, whist at your end of the table, the cousins begin discussing the owner of the empty seat to your left.

"Is Jessica usually this cold towards you guys? I mean, from what Maria told me, she was usually down at the docks to meet you all. Life and soul of the party, staying up playing games and gossiping, all that fun stuff. I'd have expected her to show up and say hi by now." Battler offers, in hushed tones.

"No, this is... different. Although, I'm pretty sure about the cause." George replies.

"Uuuuu! Maria knows, Maria knows!"

George leans over and whispers into Maria's ear, and she grins and nods gleefully.

"Yeah, Maria and I are pretty sure that Jessica...." George halts, and Battler jumps in, smiling grimly.

"Was as lovestruck as you? Don't tell me, they sent away the servant she was in love with too?!"

George shrugs. "I haven't seen Kanon around, for what it's worth. It might be nothing, of course, but..."

Anything further is halted by the door opening, and a series of figures pouring in.
>> No. 15470 edit
File 140614495596.jpg - (118.97KB , 640x480 , scr_24.jpg )
15470
Krauss enters first, followed by two women, who you quickly deduce to be his wife, Natsuhi, and his daughter, Jessica. As they all take their respective seats at the table, a hush falls over the family, one that refuses to be broken. Only after Gohda arrives and plates out the first course does someone dare to speak.

"Is Father no-" Eva begins, but is quickly cut off by Krauss.

"Father will not be joining us, nor is there any need for him to. He is no longer the Ushiromiya family head. That title now belongs to me."

The adults, suddenly roused from their calm, begin their attack, however Krauss raises his hand, and they all pause.

"Father's ring, the crest of the family head. This should be evidence enough for now, however I will be happy to present written proof later, of course."

Amazingly, this seems to sate the adults for now, and the conversation becomes more civil, for a time.

Your attention is snatched away from the adults by George, who seems to be trying to break the ice that has set over the cousin's end of the table.

"Erika, I think this is the first time you two have met, right? This is Jessica, the last member of our little group." He laughs nervously, as Jessica finally speaks, for the first time since she's seated herself. Her voice is choked and quiet, in contrast to what you've heard about her so far.

"... Nice to meet you. I'm sorry about your arrival."
>> No. 15471 edit
File 140614745264.png - (156.25KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile22.png )
15471
>>15470
I try to sound friendly and light-hearted while responding to her, but I'm also not about to let that slip by. "Haha, well, I wouldn't say I'm sorry I arrived, exactly. If I didn't arrive here, I'd be dead right about now, and I'm sure you wouldn't want that, right? But yes, don't worry, I know what you mean, and I'm very grateful for your family's hospitality of course, so thank you very much."
>> No. 15472 edit
File 140614854582.jpg - (125.76KB , 640x480 , scr_25.jpg )
15472
Jessica seems taken aback by your tongue-in-cheek response, and struggles for a moment. "I-uh... My apologies, m-I mean..." Mercifully, Battler comes to the rescue before things can get worse.

"I'm sure Jessica didn't mean it like that, right?" After a silent nod affirming this, he presses on. "Anyway, I don't suppose you know what that ruckus upstairs was, do you? We heard it all the way from the entrance hall."

Jessica stares at him blankly for a moment before responding, looking down into her lap. "N... not nothing, that would be a lie. Mother and I were arguing. I'm sorry you had to hear it."

George glares at Battler, who gives him a helpless shrug before returning to his food.

As everyone progresses onto the main course, the topics of conversation at either end of the table take interesting turns. The cousins seem to be talking about the servants on duty over the weekend, whilst the adults sound as though they're discussing Kinzo's will.

(Again, you may choose to listen in/participate in one of these conversations)
>> No. 15473 edit
File 136355325283.png - (862.71KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmilePose.png )
15473
>>15472
I'll listen to the cousins' conversation for now. I imagine that I'll be hearing all about the situation with the adults later anyway, if things go as Krauss planned.
>> No. 15474 edit
"So, Jessica, do you know who's on the serving rota for the weekend? I mean, given Shannon's not here, who're covering for her? Ruon? Berune?" George leads in, mentioning a bunch of names you've never heard before.

"... No-one. As far as I'm aware, at least." Jessica scarcely bothers to look up from her meal, although you think you notice a slight flush on her cheeks compared to how pale she was when she entered.

"Huh... Seems like an odd choice, given it's the busiest point of the year and all." Battler rings in, although, no-one seems to take any notice of him.

"Uuuuu! The rose, the rose!" Maria, on the other hand, is quickly getting agitated, and George attempts to soothe her.

"Oh, right. Jessica, do you think there's any chance Kanon could take Maria to see her rose?"

"... Impossible. He left last year."

"Oh. So, is there someone else on gardening duty who could take Maria out?"

"Not to my knowledge. I'm not familiar with the servant's rota this weekend."

Jessica's continued chilly responses kill any further attempts at conversation, and things remain quiet until things take a strange turn at the adult's end of the table.

BGM:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDma4A6A3Bc

You fail to catch any of what they're saying, but you notice Genji arrive and hand an envelope to Krauss. Shortly after he opens it, the adults erupt into shouting.

Krauss and Natsuhi are the first to rise, shortly followed by Eva and Hideyoshi, who quickly home in on Genji, their shouts overlapping one another. Meanwhile, Rosa remains seated, pouring over the letter, her entire body shaking, and Rudolf and Kyrie lean over her shoulders, also inspecting it.

The cousins run over to their respective parents, leaving you to choose who to quiz over this uproar.
>> No. 15475 edit
File 138904588320.png - (152.78KB , 340x366 , Erika_Shocked.png )
15475
>>15474
I'll run over to where Krauss is and try to get a look at the letter, while also attempting to listen to the surrounding conversation in an effort to understand the cause of the uproar.
>> No. 15476 edit
File 140615374021.jpg - (34.40KB , 640x480 , scr_26.jpg )
15476
As you zip towards Krauss, you scan the contents of the letter, which read as follows.

'Dearest Members of the Ushiromiya Family,


I apologise for not engaging correspndence sooner, however I felt it necessary to wait until you were all gathered here before adressing you. Congratulations on solving the epitaph. By Kinzo's ruling, you have now earned the 10 tons of gold hidden underneath Rokkenjima, and fufilled the contract. Under said contract, on this date, the gold would have returned to my posession, and your lives would have been taken as interest. Instead, you defeated my riddle far in advance of the deadline! Truly, in this regard, I underestimated you. However, before I take my leave, there are two matters that must be adressed. The death of my predecessor, and the manner in which my epitaph was solved.

Those responsible know what I speak of, so there is no need for explanation. The debt will be paid back in full. Unlike the previous contract, there exists no means by which this can be mitigated.

I wish you all an enjoyable, thrilling evening.

Sincerely,
Beatrice the Golden.'
>> No. 15477 edit
File 140615381661.jpg - (108.14KB , 640x480 , scr_27.jpg )
15477
The cause of the anger is relatively obvious. "What is the meaning of this? You were asked to bring the will, not some thinly veiled death threat!" Krauss looks like he's about to explode, and the others aren't much better. Genji, on the other hand, remains cool as a cucumber.

"My apologies. The will must have been replaced with this letter at some point."

"What do you mean, 'replaced'? Do you not keep these kinds of documents secure here?" Eva, who seems to be taking more of an issue with the missing will than anything, continues to screech at Genji. He regards her with a cold look, before turning back to Krauss, who is now sweating profusely. A temporary silence falls, and you see your chance to enter the conversation.
>> No. 15478 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15478
>>15477
"Krauss-san, do you have any idea what the letter is referring to when it talks about 'the manner in which the epitaph was solved'? Perhaps it would help everyone to cool down and get a better understanding of the situation if you could clearly describe what happened and how you succeeded the headship? The others will only continue to be suspicious of you if you keep acting like you have something to hide."
>> No. 15479 edit
Krauss turns a dangerous shade of purple, and Natsuhi rushes to his aid, scolding you.

"How dare you attack the head of the Ushiromiya family, after he offered you food and shelter? This is outrage-"

"Shut up, you borrowed womb!" Eva's thunderous shout brings silence to the room, and you feel everyone's eyes focus on your group. When she continues, her voice is cold and icy. "Well, Kruass? If we're not going to get anywhere on the author of the letter, let's discuss the subject matter. How did you solve the epitaph?"

"It's of no concern to you, Eva. The solution to the riddle leads one right to the gold, and I wouldn't put it past you to steal it from under our noses!"

"Stop dodging the question!"

"Enough!" Krauss slams his fist on the table. "I will not be attacked like this in my own home. I declare the conference suspended until we reach the root of this." He grabs the letter, before turning towards the door, gesturing to Natsuhi. "Father must know about this. Should any of you have need of anything, the servants will attend to it." Without so much as a goodbye, he leaves, and is followed by Natsuhi, who makes a point of slamming the door behind her.
>> No. 15480 edit
File 132908255479.png - (163.48KB , 390x364 , Erika_CondescendingBow.png )
15480
>>15479
"Hmph, how ridiculous. I didn't 'attack' anyone, I was simply giving him some perfectly reasonable advice. But the simple fact that those two felt attacked because of that speaks volumes - wouldn't you agree, everyone? They're obviously hiding something.

Now, I wonder if anyone here would have any idea what exactly that would be...? If anyone knows anything, it would be very helpful, considering that it could be a matter of life and death." I address the room at large, letting my eyes linger on Jessica and Genji, the two who would be most likely to know something, as I do so.
>> No. 15535 edit
File 140656670343.jpg - (84.25KB , 640x480 , scr_22.jpg )
15535
"Whilst I cannot attest to the method by which Master Krauss solved the epitaph, I am perfectly able to give you a time-frame of events." Genji is the first to speak, and everyone seems content to let him continue, most of all Jessica, who seems to have shrunk back into her chair a little.

"Late August of last year, Master Kinzo demanded that the plaque displaying the epitaph be removed. Then, on 9th September of the same year, Dr Nanjo and myself witnessed the handing over of the ring of the family head, shortly followed by Master Kinzo's signing of the new will. During the period between these two events, Master Krauss and Master Kinzo met at least once, to my knowledge."

Whilst this goes on, you notice Rosa wave Gohda over and whisper something to him, who bows deeply to her, before slinking out.
>> No. 15564 edit
File 132935668373.png - (153.62KB , 340x366 , Erika_EyesClosed.png )
15564
>>15535
"Hmm...so you're saying that the epitaph has been gone since last August? But I had the impression that everyone here was unaware of its disappearance until today. Does that mean that the family conference didn't take place last year?"
>> No. 15565 edit
"You are correct on both counts, miss. Last year's conference was cancelled due to a prolonged period of freak weather. Captain Kawabata is the only ferryman confident handling the route to the island, and he adamntly refused that year."
>> No. 15618 edit
File 140589059012.png - (156.24KB , 340x366 , Erika_Condescending2.png )
15618
>>15565
"I see. Thank you for the information. ...Still, don't you think it's a little odd that Krauss-sama stayed quiet about his succession of the headship for this long? Waiting for a big event like this almost seems like he was asking for unnecessary drama, wouldn't you say?"

I turn to Rosa. "By the way, Rosa-san, you've been unusually quiet this whole time. I couldn't help but notice that you asked Gohda for something just now; is everything quite alright?"
>> No. 15619 edit
File 140701908416.jpg - (93.97KB , 640x480 , scr_24.jpg )
15619
"It's hardly my place to comment on such matters. I'm sure Master Krauss had good reason to conceal these events until now." Genji falls silent, however judging my the murmurs from the rest of the room, it seems everyone agrees with you. Barring Jessica, of course, who seems to have lost interest in the conversation.

Rosa looks up sharply, raising a hand to her chest, and hesitates for a moment. "I.. Well, would you call this situation alright? Someone's issued a death threat against the entire family, and..." She drifts off, however a tug on her sleeve from Maria seems to snap her back to reality. "Right, Gohda. It seemed sensible to me for us to at least try to radio Captain Kawabata and get us off the island. If Krauss is in no mood to discuss affairs, I see no reason to endanger myself or my daughter. As I recall, there's a portable system in the servant's room. I asked hit to fetch it for me."
>> No. 15620 edit
File 136920689760.png - (152.00KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile4.png )
15620
>>15619
"Oh, okay. That's probably a good idea, I suppose." I turn to speak to Genji again. "Speaking of that letter, it's quite mysterious how someone managed to replace the will with it, don't you think? Would you be able to go into more detail about where the will was kept until now, and who would have had access to it?"

Last edited at 14/08/03(Sun)12:50:06
>> No. 15621 edit
Genji frowns, but he replies eventually, his voice more cold than usual. " Before I begin, I should note that there exists another copy of the will on the island, in addition to a third filed with a law film on the mainland. The copy of the will I was to bring today had been stored, up until recently, in a drawer in Master Kinzo's study. Naturally, the only people with access to it then would have been myself, Master Kinzo, and the present head. However, this morning I was instructed to store it in the servant's room until dinner." He pauses, and for a moment you notice a flash of discomfort on his face.

"Unfortunately, even before Shannon's departure, we have been somewhat understaffed. As a result, Kumasawa, Gohda and myself have been busier than usual. I must admit that there is a possibility that the contents of the will might have been swapped at any point today. Furthermore, when I went to retrieve the will a few moments ago, the door to the servant's room was unlocked. Usually, a master key such as the ones carried by the servants would be necessary to enter the room, however during the time frame when it was unlocked..."

This promptly sparks another debate, as the remaining members of the family argue over alibis. As this continues, Kumasawa and Gohda enter, the latter carrying the radio Rosa mentioned, and between them they begin to set it up on Rosa's side of the table.
>> No. 15658 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15658
>>15621
I'll cease my questioning for now and watch to see what happens with the radio.
>> No. 15659 edit
Whilst the radio crackles to life successfully, it seems Rosa is having trouble getting her message to the boat captain. In spite of several attempts, only silence greets her, and her messages become increasingly frantic.

"... Maybe the weather's interfering with the signal or summin'. It's not unheard of, keep tryin'." Hideyoshi makes his first real contribution to the discussion, only to be shot down by Rudolf.

"Look outside. The weather's fine, there's no reason why we shouldn't be reaching him, unless-"

"Unless what?!" Rosa shouts, killing the conversation. Flushed and distressed, she quickly turns to Genji, snapping at him angrily. "Why hasn't someone tried to call off the island yet? Someone make a call to Niijima!"

With a deep bow, Genji takes his leave, and as Rosa collapses back into her chair, the individual families fall back into their own quiet discussions. Lacking her own parents at present, Jessica settles with Rosa and Maria, and begins playing some sort of game with the latter.
>> No. 15660 edit
File 136933918946.png - (151.67KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile2.png )
15660
>>15659
I don't imagine that any of the families would take too kindly to me butting in on their private conversations, so I'll go over to Jessica and Maria in an attempt to join in with the game they're playing.
>> No. 15661 edit
BGM: Fishy Aroma

You approach the pair, who seem to be playing a rather convoluted game of patty-cake, kneeling the the floor behind Rosa. As you dip down to join them, Maria flashes you a smile, and whispers something, out of earshot of the adults.

"Don't you think it's funny how mama's so scared about that letter?"

Jessica glances over at her, hesitantly, before nodding, provoking a giggle from the younger girl, who then looks over you you, and raises her palms, ready to play.

Last edited at 14/08/06(Wed)13:24:01
>> No. 15665 edit
File 13702032519.png - (150.93KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile3.png )
15665
>>15661
"Yes, it's completely hilarious, isn't it?" I reply, giggling along with her. "If she knew anything about Beatrice, she'd know that there isn't anything to worry about. Some people are just so ignorant, aren't they?"
>> No. 15666 edit
File 140735895712.jpg - (126.39KB , 640x480 , scr_23.jpg )
15666
Maria plays at a quick pace, grinning to herself, and you soon miss a beat, causing her to turn to Jessica, continuing as she starts playing again.

"It's because she thinks Beatrice is talking about her." Maria nods, still smiling, and this cryptic statement elicits a puzzled look from Jessica. with another laugh, Maria leans forwards and whispers to her, however thanks to your perfect hearing, you catch what's said.

"Mama thinks she killed Beatrice."

Jessica tenses up, and Maria's next laugh is far more sinister. Quickly winning again, she turns back to you for another game.
>> No. 15667 edit
File 136355325283.png - (862.71KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmilePose.png )
15667
>>15666
"Why, how completely ridiculous. As if someone like her could ever be capable of such a thing. What on earth could have possibly possessed her to think that?" I ask as I continue to play.
>> No. 15668 edit
Maria shrugs, and recounts to you the tale of how, during her childhood, Rosa led a woman resembling Beatrice from the hidden mansion of Kuwadorain along a cliff-side path, from which she fell to her death. Miraculously, it seems no-one in the room is paying enough attention to you all to notice what is being said, and Jessica confides that this is the first she's heard of this.

"Although, I've heard father mention tunnels that run under the island to some building deep in the forest. I wonder if that's the same place as the one Maria mentioned?"
>> No. 15669 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15669
>>15668
"Oh my, so you're saying that there's actually another building on this island aside from the mansion and the guesthouse? Do the rest of the family know about this?"
>> No. 15670 edit
Jessica offers a similar shrug, glancing about. "It's... complicated. I guess Rosa would know, and some of the servants might too. I've known the rumor about it since, well, since I was able to remember anything."

As she finishes, Genji returns, causing Rosa to jump to her feet. "Did you...?"

He shakes his head, however he seems undisturbed by the news he delivers. "Work is being done on the external line at present, however it should be finished by tomorrow morning. My apologies for not bringing this to everyone's attention sooner." As if making a point, he gives Gohda a cold stare, and the cook seems to shrink under it. Meanwhile, Rosa seems to have taken the news badly, and has gone quite pale.

"I... Very well. I think I'm going to head out for some fresh air then. Genji, could you find Dr. Nanjo and send him to the parlor for me?"

Once again, Genji bows and leaves, then Rosa follows suit, waving to Maria, who trots along after her happily. It seems that the other family members are also preparing to retire, based on the snippets you can hear.
>> No. 15671 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15671
>>15670
I'll wait until most of the others are leaving and follow the last few people out of the dining room. I'll then take note of where everyone is heading and decide my next destination based on that, unless someone approaches me before I can go anywhere.
>> No. 15672 edit
File 140736491327.jpg - (133.18KB , 640x480 , scr_24.jpg )
15672
Gohda offers to lead everyone back, but Eva waves him away, and her and the remaining adults set off for the guesthouse. Gohda and Kumasawa leave shortly after, heading across the entrance hall and out of your sight, leaving you, Jessica, Battler and George. The two boys seem to want something, however Jessica quickly makes her excuses.

"Sorry you two, but I think I'd best go and talk to my parents about, well..." George quickly cuts in, waving his hands and laughing.

"That's fine! I'm going to see if Rosa will let Maria play a few card games with us in the big room in the guesthouse. We'll probably be up a while, if you're interested after."

Jessica shakes her head, and with a muttered "goodnight", leaves and turns for the stairs. The boys head on out too, but turn for the main door.
>> No. 15683 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15683
>>15672
I'll wait for Jessica to go up the stairs, then I'll ascend them myself and make my way to the third floor, looking for Kinzo's study.
>> No. 15684 edit
File 140761164295.jpg - (48.23KB , 640x480 , scr_23.jpg )
15684
You wait until Jessica's footsteps fade to nothing, then make the steady ascent. On the landing of the second floor, you hear muted voices from one of the bedrooms, but fail to make out any words.

Upon reaching the top of the next flight of stairs, you come face-to-face with the door to Kinzo's study. Silence hangs heavy in the air.
>> No. 15685 edit
>>15684
I approach Kinzo's study and put my ear to the door. Can I hear anything?
>> No. 15686 edit
You press your ear to the door, but still hear nothing. Either the door's too thick to hear anything, or nothing's happening inside.
>> No. 15687 edit
File 132935668373.png - (153.62KB , 340x366 , Erika_EyesClosed.png )
15687
>>15686
I'll go back down to the second floor. If there are still voices coming from one of the bedrooms, I'll try to get close enough to make some of the words out if possible.
>> No. 15688 edit
File 140761254839.jpg - (66.71KB , 640x480 , scr_24.jpg )
15688
You head down to the second floor. The staircase enters at the middle of the hallway, with doors stretching out to either end.

From one of the doors to the right, you can pick up the odd name from the jumble of voices. They seem to be discussing the adult members of the family.

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)12:29:08
>> No. 15689 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15689
>>15688
I'll go closer to the door, going right up to it if necessary. Can I tell whose voices they are, and can I pick up any more of the conversation?
>> No. 15690 edit
File 140761313493.jpg - (98.69KB , 640x480 , scr_25.jpg )
15690
You sneak closer, and identify the voices as those of Krauss and Natsuhi.

"... honestly don't think that's something to worry about right now, dear. Shouldn't we be more focused on-"

"Nonsense. That letter will have got them thinking about the epitaph again, and it turns out that brat had it all committed to memory. If someone..."

"Who's going to?"

"Rudolf and Kyrie are sharper than you give them credit for. I wouldn't put it past them to..."

"... Don't fret over it too much, dear. Try to get some rest."

It seems the conversation has come to a close, and you can now hear footsteps within the room.
>> No. 15691 edit
File 135227252415.png - (775.70KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Protest.png )
15691
>>15690
I quickly move away from the door and start walking back down the hallway toward the stairs.
>> No. 15692 edit
You manage to make it to the stairs just as you hear a door creak open behind you, and the footsteps progress away from you, back down the hall.
>> No. 15693 edit
File 135322925326.png - (775.35KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Wary.png )
15693
>>15692
I'll turn around and watch the person (presumably Natsuhi) to see where she's going, and take note of any room she enters. Assuming that nothing else unusual happens, I'll head over to the parlor and see if I can hear any conversation there.
>> No. 15694 edit
You fail to catch sight of the person leaving, however you spot their door slamming shut, two down the hall from the one you eavesdropped, and memorize its location.

Upon approaching the parlor, you spot Rosa, Maria and Nanjo just entering it.

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)13:05:27
>> No. 15695 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15695
>>15694
I'll wait for them to enter and then try to listen in on their conversation from outside.
>> No. 15696 edit
Miraculously, they seem to involved in their conversation to notice you, and as the door closes behind them, you slip up and begin listening in.

"Are you quite sure-"

"Quite, Doctor. This is the best course of action for us."

"I see. Well, as usual, I recommend that you take it with plenty to drink. As for-"

"I know, Doctor, I know. Thank you, I'm aware that this is a little late for such a call, but know that I hugely appreciate it."

"No trouble at all. Goodnight."

Once again, you have some time before the footsteps reach the door.
>> No. 15697 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15697
>>15696
I move away from the door again and start heading for the room I saw Gohda and Kumasawa enter earlier.
>> No. 15698 edit
File 140761607451.jpg - (101.02KB , 640x480 , scr_26.jpg )
15698
You sneak away, but before you do, you hear the distinct click of a key in a lock from the parlor after Nanjo leaves.

You find Kumasawa and Gohda in the kitchen, gossiping busily. As the door is wide open, they spot you coming, and interrupt their conversation to greet you.

"Hoh-hoh! The little miss is up on her feet and exploring already! It's good to see you back on your feet so soon, dear."

"Indeed. Is there anything we can help you with?" Gohda turns to face you, hands clasped awkwardly around a plate he'd been cleaning.

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)13:28:33
>> No. 15699 edit
File 136922601321.png - (155.50KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile32.png )
15699
>>15698
"Oh, hello, both of you. I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm afraid I'm a little lost. Is there any map of this mansion that I could borrow, by any chance?"
>> No. 15700 edit
"A map? I... Hmm..." Gohda pauses, and frowns at Kumasawa, who shakes her head sadly.

"I don't think we have anything like that. However, if it's an issue, you can leave it to us to draw one for you once our duties here are done. I can't imagine it taking too long, hoh-hoh!"

"... In return, I don't suppose I could ask a small favour, Miss Erika?" Gohda pipes up again, his voice a little shaky.
>> No. 15701 edit
File 136920689760.png - (152.00KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile4.png )
15701
>>15700
"Oh, you'd go to all that trouble for me? Thank you very much. And certainly, Gohda-san, what is it?"
>> No. 15702 edit
"It's... hmm. I would appreciate it if you kept this discreet. If Genji found out about my-"

"That you dropped the key to the servant's room? He'd turn as pale as a plate of my mackerel, hoh-hoh!"

Gohda himself turns pale, but he nods and looks at you pleadingly. "I've no idea where I dropped it. I had it this morning before you arrived, but after that..." He drifts off, and Kumasawa chortles happily as she gets back to work.

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)13:52:19
>> No. 15703 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15703
>>15702
"Hm...well, I can't imagine that I'd be very likely to find it, but I'll keep an eye out, I suppose. By the way, do either of you have any idea where I'll be sleeping tonight? I don't believe Krauss-sama ever gave me a room key or anything..."
>> No. 15704 edit
"Hmmm?" Kumasawa's smile increases to worrying proportions. "Did Genji forget... Oh-hohohoh!" With further laughter, the maid ditches her dishes and slips out of the kitchen, beckoning for you to follow.

"Don't you worry miss, I'll sort you out with one now. Come with me!"
>> No. 15705 edit
File 136112418894.png - (798.83KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Protest2.png )
15705
>>15704
"Um, okay then. Thank you for your assistance."

I go along with her, despite feeling slightly creeped out by the way she seems to find her colleagues' mistakes so hilarious.
>> No. 15706 edit
Kumasawa leads you away from the main hall, and down a short passage into the servant's room.

Whilst the maid busies herself with a small cabinet of keys in the corner of the room, you take note of the room's contents. On a desk off to one side lies a variety of papers, including schedules, and a telephone. In the middle of the room lies a coffee table with a sofa off to one side, both plain and empty. The sole window is locked tight, and through it you can see the first few spits of rain.
>> No. 15707 edit
File 136933918946.png - (151.67KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile2.png )
15707
>>15706
While Kumasawa is finding the key, I take the opportunity to ask her about something. "By the way, Kumasawa-san, Gohda-san said he lost the key to this room, right? But why would there be a key just for this room when you all have master keys that can open it anyway? I hope you don't mind me asking, but it would help to know exactly what I'm looking for."
>> No. 15708 edit
File 14076201652.jpg - (78.18KB , 640x480 , scr_27.jpg )
15708
Kumasawa doesn't respond immediately, and continues to flick through the keys, until she plucks the correct one from the cabinet. Then, only after turning slowly to face you, does she reply.

"... Who knows? You would have to ask the man who made the keys to the mansion, or the man who commissioned them, although I doubt Master Kinzo would welcome such trivial questions."

Her earlier mirth seems to have vanished, and she thrusts the key towards you. "Yours is room #4. It's opposite the cousins' room, and next to the book archives."

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)14:36:05
>> No. 15709 edit
File 135227252415.png - (775.70KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Protest.png )
15709
>>15708
I take the key, somewhat taken aback. "Okay, thank you. But I think you missed my point. Regardless of why the key existed, why would Gohda-san even have been carrying it around in the first place when he already has a master key that could open this door? I mean, I'm only asking this to get a better picture of the task that Gohda-san has given me, but I don't think it's an unreasonable question."

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)14:39:24
>> No. 15710 edit
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m4LbXNcjmU

Kumasawa pales a little at your questioning, but she quickly bristles, offering a sharp reply.

"I think it would be best if you simply forgot about Gohda's missing key, miss. A young lady such as yourself has more pressing matters to concern herself with than keys and keyholes, I should think."

With that, she brushes past you to leave the room, pausing in the door-frame for a final remark. "Forgive me if I spoke out of turn, miss." She then hurries off, no doubt back towards the kitchen.
>> No. 15711 edit
File 140762141336.png - (160.83KB , 390x364 , Erika_SmileBow.png )
15711
>>15710
"Oh, it's quite alright," I reply to the empty air. "Your reaction is one of the most interesting clues that I've stumbled across thus far."

I then go over to the front door and leave the mansion, heading for the guesthouse.

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)14:57:46
>> No. 15712 edit
You hurry over to the guesthouse, getting a little damp as a result of the rain that has begun to set in. The front door is unlocked, and you enter swiftly.

A light is on in the lounge area where you rested previously, and you can hear murmuring from within.
>> No. 15713 edit
File 136933918946.png - (151.67KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile2.png )
15713
>>15712
I'll enter the lounge area.
>> No. 15714 edit
File 140762235935.jpg - (128.32KB , 640x480 , scr_28.jpg )
15714
Aside from you, the lounge only has one occupant. Eva is sitting on the sofa, a pile of books planted in front of her on the coffee table. Foremost among them is an atlas, which she has spread open before her. Up until now, it seems she's been talking to herself, however your sudden entrance causes her to start.

"Oh! Oh, Erika. It's a bit late for you to be wandering about, don't you think?" She offers you a smile, and waves you into the room.

"I imagine you've been finding this all quite exciting, no? A mysterious island, a wealthy family, and now a letter from a witch!" She laughs, before leaning back into the sofa comfortably.

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)15:13:31
>> No. 15715 edit
File 136934417559.png - (156.56KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile42.png )
15715
>>15714
"Yes, it's certainly been quite an adventure. Almost like something out of a murder mystery novel, isn't it? I'm a big fan of those kinds of things, actually...Still, I should hope no one actually gets murdered tonight. I've already been far closer to death than I'd have liked to be. That letter certainly was quite ominous though, wouldn't you say?"

I walk across the room, pausing to look at the books Eva is reading. "Oh, is that an atlas? Pardon my asking, but is there something particular you're looking for? Maybe I could help?"

Last edited at 14/08/09(Sat)15:22:39
>> No. 15716 edit
"Indeed. That seems to be the way on this island, everything feels like it's been ripped from the pages of a book. As for the letter, well..." Eva gestures to the atlas. "That's the reason I've got this old thing out. If what the letter says is true, and Krauss didn't succeed in solving the epitaph correctly, then maybe there might be some merit in trying to figure it out, don't you think?

We all had our pet theories, you see. Krauss' ideal solution took the 'beloved homeland' the epitaph mentioned to be a metaphorical concept, but I think otherwise. It's probably somewhere Father fell in love with during the war, or so I believe.

Rudolf and Rosa never took it all that seriously, but Kyrie used to spend hours making notes. Never shared any with us, of course."

Suddenly, she yawns, covering her mouth in surprise.

"Oh, but this is all just bedtime reading. My husband snores something awful when he first nods off, so it's hopeless trying to get any sleep until he's settled down."
>> No. 15717 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15717
>>15716
"Haha, I see. Well, I guess I can't help in that case, since I wouldn't be able to guess what kind of place would be significant to Kinzo-sama. Still, if you do end up making any progress, please do let me know; I just love these kinds of riddles, you know, and I'm really curious about what could be behind this one...

But yes, I suppose I should be getting to bed after all. Good luck with the puzzle, Eva-sama."

Assuming that she doesn't have anything else to say, I'll go upstairs. Before entering my room, I'll first put my ear to each of the other rooms to see if I can hear anything.
>> No. 15718 edit
Eva wishes you goodnight, and returns to pouring over the atlas. Heading upstairs, you hear nothing initially, however upon checking the room opposite yours, you hear Battler and George talking. It seems that aside from Eva, they're the only two still awake.

"... Odd. Are you sure she's alright?"

"I don't know. It's been two years since I last saw her, and people can change a lot in that time. If I had to guess, I'd say aunt Natsuhi must have finally broken her hot streak."

"I guess... Still, she's grown quite a bit, don't you think? Eheheh!"

"Battler!"

"No, seriously now, if she wasn't your cousin-"

"Shut up!"

You hear the sounds of a pillow fight breaking out, and decide to withdraw.
>> No. 15719 edit
File 132935668373.png - (153.62KB , 340x366 , Erika_EyesClosed.png )
15719
>>15718
"I suppose I'm pretty much done here."

I'll enter my room and go to bed, assuming nothing else out of the ordinary happens.
>> No. 15720 edit
You close your eyes, and quickly fall into a deep, dreamless sleep.

As the other humans on the island do the same, a thick, oozing shadow melts across Rokkenjima. The witch's darkness, thick and viscous. Before long, everything is covered, and figures begin to stir within.
>> No. 15721 edit
File 140762589393.jpg - (111.16KB , 640x480 , scr_29.jpg )
15721
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsGr8V1Q_1U

"Hmph. So a few players are in the wrong places. What does it matter?"

In the grounds of the mansion, the witch snorts, turning her nose up at the drenched roses, herself and her companions inexplicably dry despite the downpour.

"Doesn't matter one bit. With the island like this, it's easy enough to toss them about until no-one knows where they are! They'll have forgotten themselves, if you give me long enough!"

The female and the witch cry out in raucous laughter, interrupted only by their male companion.

"Milady, I'm afraid we might be under-estimating-"

"Oh shush, Ronove!" The witch continues cackling, her laughs quickly swallowed up by the shadows, before they can reach mortal ears.

"... Someone has issued a challenge against you, milady."

"Oh? Well..." The witch pauses for a moment, before a hideous smile plasters itself across her features. "Offense is the best defense. Ronove! Gaap! Bring about the first clause of my new contract! Show them what comes of trying to cheat a witch!"

With a bow, the two demons dissolve into golden butterflies, leaving the witch alone amongst her roses. Eventually, she too disappears, but not before addressing the island with a fierce cry. "So you'd challenge a witch, on her home territory? How brave... I'll enjoy killing you last!"
>> No. 15722 edit
You're awoken by the buzzing of a clock at your bedside. It seems someone had set the alarm for you.

The time is 7:30 am.
>> No. 15723 edit
File 135227252415.png - (775.70KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Protest.png )
15723
>>15722
"Huh?! R-really...You'd think they'd let me at least lie in a little after what happened yesterday...Still, I suppose it's <good> that I'm not missing out on any time I could be using to investigate."

I get out of bed and take the time to examine my room, since I didn't yesterday.
>> No. 15724 edit
The room is sparsely decorated. It contains a double-bed, a small wardrobe, and a bedside table, on which sit a telephone and a lamp. The one window is closed and locked. A door at one end of the room leads to a small en-suite bathroom.

You notice that an envelope appears to have been pushed partway under your door.
>> No. 15725 edit
File 140589059012.png - (156.24KB , 340x366 , Erika_Condescending2.png )
15725
>>15724
"Oh...?"

I pick up the envelope and open it.
>> No. 15726 edit
File 140769946796.png - (11.49KB , 800x600 , Untitled.png )
15726
You open the envelope, and find the following map inside. It seems that despite the events of last night, Kumasawa made good on part of her agreement. On the other side, the following is written.

"I'm terribly sorry, but I only had time to draw the one floor before Genji came across me doodling, hoh-hoh! Still, I'll have time to draw the others soon."
>> No. 15727 edit
File 136920689760.png - (152.00KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile4.png )
15727
>>15726
"Oh, how nice of her. And here I thought I'd been visited by a witch in the night. ...Well actually, I suppose I wasn't that far off after all, considering the way she was acting yesterday."

I leave my room.

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)12:46:43
>> No. 15728 edit
You head out onto the landing of the guesthouse's first floor. The house is silent. The doors to the other guestrooms are all closed, although the door to the book archive seems to have been left open.
>> No. 15729 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15729
>>15728
I'll go into the book archive and take a look around.
>> No. 15730 edit
File 140770055966.jpg - (115.95KB , 640x480 , scr_30.jpg )
15730
The light has been left on inside, and the first thing that attracts your attention is the several gaps on the bookshelves, where clumps of books have been removed. Books aside, the sole window you can see is closed and locked, and you seem to have passed through the only door.

It seems no-one else is present.

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)12:56:00
>> No. 15731 edit
>>15730
I'll closely examine the books around the areas where some have been pulled out. I'll also have a look around the shelves in general to get some idea of the ordering system used (if there is any). Can I get any idea of which particular kinds of books may have been taken based on this?
>> No. 15732 edit
You quickly work out that the books have been organized by topic, and that books have been removed from the history and geography sections. Based on their absence from the otherwise comprehensive collection, you assume that the missing books are on the topics of Japanese and Chinese geography, and the contribution of these areas to the Second World War.

Also, it seems that a few mystery novels have been removed, but the lack of any real organization in this section makes any further deduction impossible.

Aside from some dust, you find nothing of note on the shelves where the books were removed.
>> No. 15733 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15733
>>15732
I'll leave the room, and then go through the routine of putting my ear to each of the guestroom doors and checking for any sounds.
>> No. 15734 edit
You hear nothing from any of the rooms.
>> No. 15735 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15735
>>15734
"Hmm...am I the first to get up? I wonder why my alarm was set so early..."

I'll go downstairs to the lounge, I suppose.
>> No. 15736 edit
File 140770240963.jpg - (112.64KB , 640x480 , scr_31.jpg )
15736
Similarly, the lounge is devoid of all life. A large pile of books lies upon the coffee table, however; no doubt those that you assumed to be missing from the book archive.

Through the room's large windows, you notice that it's raining heavily outside.

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)13:26:49
>> No. 15737 edit
File 132935668373.png - (153.62KB , 340x366 , Erika_EyesClosed.png )
15737
>>15736
"I'll get soaked if I go outside like this..."

I'll go back up to the landing and try to enter the cousins' room. If it's locked, I'll knock on the door.
>> No. 15738 edit
The cousin's room isn't locked, however no-one is inside. Of the four beds present, it seems only two have been slept in.

You spot a an umbrella at the foot of one of the still-made beds. It's bright red, and covered in frills.
>> No. 15739 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15739
>>15738
"Hmm. It seems that I'm already following some witch's script after all. To be expected, I suppose."

I'll check the other guestrooms to see if they're open, and whether anything is inside. If I don't find anything, I'll take the creepy frilly umbrella and go outside, heading for the mansion.
>> No. 15740 edit
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-5pAmoR5AA

Of the other three rooms, only one opens. The bed has been slept in, however, once again, no-one is present. A case of luggage is present in one corner of the room, already open. It looks as though someone has already rummaged through its contents.

Judging by the combination of male and female garments, you deduce that this is either Eva and Hideyohsi, or Kyrie and Rudolf's room.
>> No. 15741 edit
File 138989947492.png - (156.09KB , 340x366 , Erika_2.png )
15741
>>15740
I'll closely examine the luggage.
>> No. 15742 edit
Undergarments and spare clothes aside, you find a pad of paper and a pen, a small chess-set, shampoo and assorted other toiletries, a pack of matches, two magnets, and a small amount of cash.
>> No. 15743 edit
File 13702032519.png - (150.93KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile3.png )
15743
>>15742
I'll pocket the magnets. You can never tell when you might need some magnets! Then I'll take the umbrella and head for the mansion.
>> No. 15744 edit
You make your way over to the mansion peacefully, and the front door opens as you twist the handle.

The entrance hall is dimly lit, and upon seeing the portrait of the witch, you shiver again.

There seems to be some lively commotion coming from the dining room.
>> No. 15745 edit
File 136934155064.png - (171.08KB , 390x364 , Erika_AmusedPoint.png )
15745
>>15744
I point dramatically at the portrait. "Hmhm...I'll follow your script for now, Beatrice-san. But you know there can only be one victor in this game, right...?"

I then head for the dining room.
>> No. 15746 edit
File 140770652992.jpg - (85.13KB , 640x480 , scr_32.jpg )
15746
The portrait fails to respond, taken aback by your challenge.

Upon entering, you see that Natsuhi, Jessica, Kyrie, Rudolf, Battler, Eva, George, and Gohda are all present. Breakfast has been served in buffet-style, however whilst some of it has already been eaten, at least half of it remains untouched. Everyone bar the chef is seated, and engaged in animated discussion, which stops suddenly as you enter.

As you enter, Kyrie waves you over, smiling.

"Ah, speak of the devil. Well, that solves one mystery, at least."
>> No. 15747 edit
File 136991388715.png - (163.81KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile4Pose.png )
15747
>>15746
"My, I've only just woke up and I've solved a mystery already. My future as a detective is looking bright! Still, there certainly seems to be quite an uproar here...Would anyone mind filling me in on what's happened?"
>> No. 15748 edit
Kyrie quickly fills you in, holding up a hand to prevent interruption.

"Firstly, it appears that the maintenance Genji spoke of is still ongoing, as far as we can tell. There's still no phone connection to the mainland.

Secondly, it seems a few people have overslept rather impressively. Breakfast is and has always been served at 7:00 sharp on a conference weekend, and, well..." Kyrie gestures to all the empty seats.

"Finally, there's the issue that Battler just brought to my attention. Maria never went to bed last night. I suppose it's possible, probable even that she went to sleep with her mother instead, but the point is that any sense of routine seems to have gone out the window."
>> No. 15749 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15749
>>15748
"Goodness, I didn't know breakfast would be that early! I'm sorry I'm late, nobody told me anything about it. So, who is missing exactly? I don't mean to scare anyone, but considering the letter we received yesterday...well, it would ease my mind if we could go and check if everyone is okay, at least."
>> No. 15750 edit
File 140770836849.jpg - (95.12KB , 640x480 , scr_33.jpg )
15750
"That's... Did no-one tell you? Well, you're here now at least."

Gohda chips in afterwards.

"I've seen both Kumasawa and Genji this morning, so that leaves Master Krauss, Rosa, Maria, and Hideyoshi. I, uh, I should also note that Master Kinzo does not usually take his meals with the family. I believe when I last saw Genji, he was taking food up to the study for him."

Kyrie nods him a thank you, before addressing the room again.

"It seems to me that the most sensible option would be for some of us to check the guesthouse, and for the rest to check the mansion. Two groups would cover ground more quickly, and there's no risk of anyone else going missing that way."

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)15:06:09
>> No. 15751 edit
File 136355263656.png - (773.65KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Disinterested.png )
15751
>>15750
"That seems like a reasonable plan. But, Eva-sama, weren't you and Hideyoshi-sama sleeping in the same room? How could he have overslept without you noticing?"

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)15:11:17
>> No. 15752 edit
Eva blinks at you, bleary eyed, seemingly not understanding for a moment, before waving your question away.

"Huh? Oh, yes. In the end, I spent so much time downstairs reading that I fell asleep there on the couch. I didn't want to disturb him when I woke up, so I washed here in the mansion before breakfast."

As she gives her explanation, the rest of the family begin dividing themselves into groups. Kumasawa returns and mingles her way between everyone whilst this is going on, considerably impeding the process.

Eventually, Kyrie, Kumasawa, George, Battler and Eva decide to go check the guesthouse, whilst Gohda, Rudolf, Jessica and Natsuhi opt to remain and check the bedrooms in the mansion. You are given the choice of which group to join.

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)15:31:09
>> No. 15753 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15753
>>15752
I'll go with the mansion group.
>> No. 15754 edit
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4dv8CAFStw

Rudolf leads the group up the stairs, taking them two at a time as the rest of you struggle to keep up. When you reach the second floor, you find him already at work, alternating between knocking on the door loudly and trying the handle. Neither seems to be having any effect.

You notice that one of the doors further down the corridor is a little ajar, but a discussion breaks out before you can investigate it.

"Gohda, give me your master key. Let's take a peek inside this place." Rudolf holds out his hand, but Gohda takes a step back, and Natsuhi offers an explanation.

"After attaining the headship, my husband decided to take preemptive action against any servants that would try to pry into his business. The lock on his room can only be opened by his own key, which he keeps on his person at all times."

Rudolf snorts. "Well that's just great. So I guess our only option is to smash out way in, huh?" Before anyone can offer another opinion, he smashes his heel into the door, and with a splintering crunch (and a shriek of rage from Natsuhi), the door opens, and he disappears inside.
>> No. 15755 edit
File 138904588320.png - (152.78KB , 340x366 , Erika_Shocked.png )
15755
>>15754
I immediately rush in after him.
>> No. 15756 edit
File 140771095596.jpg - (70.96KB , 640x480 , scr_34.jpg )
15756
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UJRCwLKspA

You shove past Rudolf to enter, and are quickly greeted by a distressing sight. The room looks as though nit was the site of a fierce struggle. The desk has been tipped over, and the sheets on the bed torn and stained with blood. On one wall, a safe is open, its contents spilling out, but all this pales in comparison to the object lying in the centre of the room.

In a pool of blood lies a headless corpse, which you identify from his clothes as being that of Ushiromiya Krauss.

Natsuhi spills in after you, and upon seeing it, lets out a breathless, high-pitched scream.


Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)15:49:57
>> No. 15757 edit
File 140771132321.png - (780.00KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Frustrated.png )
15757
>>15756
"N...no way..."

I'll hang back and wait until the initial shock is past before I start trying to investigate.
>> No. 15758 edit
You feel no sickness or shock whatsoever, being a perfect detective. The same cannot be said for the rest of the group.

Rudolf staggers over towards the upturned desk, pale and wordless, and leans on it for support. Natsuhi, now sobbing, is clinging to her daughter, who has frozen in the doorway, her face blank with shock. In the hallway, you fancy that you can hear Gohda retching.

No-one dares to break the silence.
>> No. 15759 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15759
>>15758
I'll try to get a closer look at the corpse. Are there any other visible external wounds, aside from the obvious one?
>> No. 15760 edit
The corpse is lying on its back, spread-eagle. Lack of head aside, there seems to be a few scuffs and cuts on the hands. You notice no other wounds.

Whilst checking the hands, you find a key has been planted loosely in the left one. It has a wooden tag attached to it with '#2' etched into it.
>> No. 15761 edit
File 136346030826.png - (865.22KB , 968x1041 , Erika_DisinterestedPose.png )
15761
>>15760
I suppose I'll wait until they've calmed down a little before I ask Natsuhi and Gohda what the key is for. For now, I'll have a look at the safe.
>> No. 15762 edit
Before looking at the contents, you check the door to the safe. It appears that it requires both a combination and a key to unlock. There's no sign that it has been forced into. The key is missing.

The contents of the safe appear to be mostly legal documents and deeds to certain plots of land (including, if one is to believed, the rights to a plot for a hotel on the moon). There are also financial records, however they're rather complex, and you would need more time to go over them.

In addition to all this is an envelope similar to the one delivered to dinner last night, embossed with the one-winged eagle. The wax seal on the back has already been broken.
>> No. 15763 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15763
>>15762
I open the envelope.
>> No. 15764 edit
File 140615374021.jpg - (34.40KB , 640x480 , scr_35.jpg )
15764
The document reads as follows.

1986, September 9th.


I, Ushiromiya Kinzo of sound mind and body will now declare this as my last will and testimony.

I leave the title of family head and the island of Rokkenjima, including all property upon it, to my eldest son, Ushiromiya Krauss.

All my assets, stocks, other properties, and all gold under Rokkenjima is to be sold, and the profits distributed evenly between Ushiromiya Krauss, Ushiromiya Rudolf, Ushiromiya Eva, and Ushiromiya Rosa. They have all endured much hardship under me, and with this gift I beg their forgiveness.

With this gift, I beg your forgiveness.


The document is signed by Kinzo, with Genji and Nanjo as witnesses.

Last edited at 14/08/10(Sun)16:31:07
>> No. 15765 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15765
>>15764
I'll survey the room one last time to see if there's anything else notable. I'll also try to take note of what the others are doing, and whether they'd be receptive to me showing them my findings yet or not.

Last edited at 14/08/13(Wed)13:08:40
>> No. 15766 edit
In your survey of the room, you find that the sole window is closed and locked from the inside, and appears undamaged. The en-suite bathroom is similarly untouched, and you find nothing of note within.

The only thing left to investigate is Krauss' desk. Aside from further scattered financial documents, a photo-frame that was knocked off the desk catches your eye. The glass front of it has been smashed, and it is currently empty.

Upon finishing this investigation, you turn to the others. Rudolf seems to have overcome his initial nausea, and is busy leaning over the body. Natsuhi has left the room, whilst Jessica seems to have maintained her composure, and seems to be looking everywhere in the room bar at the corpse.
>> No. 15770 edit
File 136355263656.png - (773.65KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Disinterested.png )
15770
>>15766
I'll move closer to the door and look out into the hallway. How is Gohda doing?
>> No. 15771 edit
Gohda's standing near the stairs, looking somewhat green. Natsuhi's standing nearby, and turns to look at you.

Upon seeing the envelope, she speaks for the first time since discovering the body, her voice shaky.

"Is... What do you have there?"
>> No. 15772 edit
File 140821890323.png - (163.14KB , 340x366 , Erika_EyesClosedPose.png )
15772
>>15771
I show her the contents of the envelope.

"I found it in the safe - it appears to be Kinzo-sama's actual will, the one that was replaced with that threatening letter...Would you happen to know what was supposed to be stored in this room's safe, Natsuhi-san?"
>> No. 15773 edit
File 140821976773.jpg - (80.86KB , 640x480 , scr_30.jpg )
15773
"I see. It would be a good idea to bring that with us. I don't believe we got around to disclosing its contents last night, perhaps that will bring some calm to the others.

As for the contents of the safe, it's mostly financial documents, I believe. My husband doesn't... didn't, believe in hoarding items of value, if that's what you're thinking."

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)13:09:27
>> No. 15774 edit
File 140589059012.png - (156.24KB , 340x366 , Erika_Condescending2.png )
15774
>>15773
"I'm mostly wondering how exactly this will got into the safe in this room. After all, according to Genji-san, the will was previously being kept in a drawer in Kinzo-sama's study, and then later moved to the servant's room, where our mysterious "witch" swapped it with the letter. So how and why did the will end up here, exactly? I assume Krauss-sama was the only one with knowledge of the safe's combination?"

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)13:09:51
>> No. 15775 edit
File 140822054330.jpg - (109.40KB , 640x480 , scr_31.jpg )
15775
Natsuhi seems taken aback, and as she flails for an answer, Jessica speaks up.

"I can think of numerous possibilities. If father had the safe open when the culprit struck, then it would be easy enough to plant it. Alternatively, perhaps the culprit forced him to open it."

Rudolf, who's been quiet up until this point, also voices his opinion, calling from within the room.

"Didn't Genji say something about another copy of the will somewhere too?" You hear a grunt following this, before he steps into view, holding the ring of the family head between two fingers. "Damn thing was stuck on his fat finger. Still, he won't be needing it anymore."

Natsuhi's face turns even paler at this, but she voices no objection.

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)13:22:23
>> No. 15776 edit
File 13702032519.png - (150.93KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile3.png )
15776
>>15775
"Oh yes, there was another copy, wasn't there? Maybe we can ask Genji-san about that later."

I hold up the key that I found in Krauss's hand. "By the way, would any of you happen to know which room this key is for?"
>> No. 15777 edit
Gohda answers this time, his face still a horrid green.

"That would be... Let's see, that would be the key for guest room #2, in the guesthouse. I believe Eva and Hideyoshi were given that room."

His words take a moment to sink in, but once they do, a further dread sinks over the group.

"You don't think..." Natsuhi leaves the sentence hanging, the rest not needing to be said. Rudolf shakes his head, and makes for the stairs, beckoning you and the others.

"Come on. We'd better head over there and see if they've found anything similar."

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)13:36:11
>> No. 15778 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15778
>>15777
"Hold on. Before we do that, can we check the parlor first? It's just a detective's hunch, but I saw Rosa-san and Maria-san lock themselves in there yesterday for some reason, and considering they don't seem to have ever been seen since...well, I don't mean to worry anyone, but I think it would be worth checking, don't you?"
>> No. 15779 edit
Rudolf nods, and everyone progresses downstairs. As you reach the entrance hall, however, the group is greeted by a thoroughly soaked Genji, who greets you all with a polite bow. Looking past him, you notice that the parlor door is closed.

"Master Battler has sent me to call you all to the guesthouse as a matter of urgency. We have confirmed the death of Hideyoshi, and you are all needed as soon as possible." He pauses, hesitating for a moment, before continuing. "He believes that with testimony from you, he will be able to prove the identity of the culprit."

Jessica covers her mouth, her eyes wide, and Natsuhi looks ready to faint. Rudolf, however, seems almost pleased by this revelation, and with a wry chuckle, he makes for the front door. Gohda sees to providing Jessica and Natsuhi with umbrellas, before they follow suit. It seems your request has been forgotten, for now.
>> No. 15780 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15780
>>15779
I suppose I'll go along with them for now. We'll get back here eventually, I'm sure.
>> No. 15781 edit
The group hurries over to the guesthouse through the pouring rain, which manages to drench everyone in spite of their umbrellas. By the time you arrive, you feel as cold as when you first came to the island. Everyone else looks much the same.

Inside, the guesthouse is chaos. Eva is sitting in the living room, her eyes red from crying, and you can hear voices shouting upstairs. Eventually, you see Battler emerge at the top of the stairs, his face drawn and angry.

"There you guys are. You should probably see this. Dad, can you fill me in on anything you found in the mansion?"

As he steps aside, Rudolf heads up the stairs, and Battler beckons for you to follow.
>> No. 15782 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15782
>>15781
I do so.
>> No. 15783 edit
File 140771095596.jpg - (70.96KB , 640x480 , scr_34.jpg )
15783
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deyR5Zdapzs

As soon as you reach the top of the stairs, your eyes flick towards the open door of guestroom #2. Unlike Krauss' room, the door is still intact, but that's where the differences end.

Inside, the room is a mirror of Krauss' room. The furniture has been knocked about, the desk upturned, and the curtains ripped from their hangings.

On the floor in the center of the room lies a large male corpse in striped pajamas. The head is missing, and a huge mess of blood has pooled out from the stump of the neck.

>> No. 15784 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15784
>>15783
I'll take a closer look at the body and survey the room in general for anything particularly noteworthy.
>> No. 15785 edit
File 140822510859.jpg - (96.34KB , 640x480 , scr_32.jpg )
15785
An investigation of the corpse reveals no wounds other than the obvious one, and nothing else of note. The window remains intact and locked, and the en-suite bathroom is devoid of anything interesting.

Upon noticing your investigations, Battler approaches you, pulling out a key from his pocket. You notice that it's on a somewhat unique keyring, with a gold tag in the shape of a one-winged eagle.

"I found this when we were checking the room; it was in Hideyoshi's hand. Kumasawa says it's the key to Krauss' room, and from what Dad's told me, the key to this room was in Krauss' hand, right?"

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)14:40:13
>> No. 15786 edit
File 136920689760.png - (152.00KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile4.png )
15786
>>15785
"Yes, that's right. So, each room's key was locked inside the other room...It's quite a classic closed room mystery scenario, isn't it? I don't suppose any other keys can open this room?"
>> No. 15787 edit
Battler grins in response to this remark. "It feels just like something out of Christie. Or at least, it would, were it not for one glaring error.

We used Kumasawa's master key to get in. Looks like any of the servants could have set this up."
>> No. 15788 edit
File 136076381187.png - (0.97MB , 1109x1037 , Erika_ConfidentSmilePose2.png )
15788
>>15787
"Oh? Well, that's very interesting. And the master keys were also supposed to be the only way to get into the servant's room where the will was kept too...But then, apparently Gohda-san told me he had a different key which opened that room, too? Kumasawa-san seemed quite flustered when I asked her about it, so whichever way you frame it, the servants certainly do seem quite suspicious, don't you think?

I expect you're thinking along the same lines, so...I suppose you plan on trying to figure out which of the servants have an alibi for these murders? Genji-san said you thought you could deduce the culprit just from this, after all."

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)14:50:52
>> No. 15789 edit
"It all points to one of the servants, but... Well, that's why everyone's here. Once I get a few more answers, I'm confident that I can make a theory that answers who killed them.

Well, you've seen what you needed to. Let's head downstairs and begin checking everyone's stories."

Battler leaves, and you follow suit. Upon entering the living room, you quickly take note of who's present. George and Eva are sitting on the sofa, both still teary, whilst Jessica and Natsuhi have taken the two seats opposite them. Rudolf has gone over to stand by Kyrie near the bar, whilst the servants and Nanjo are lined up against one wall, looking at each other nervously. It seems that Rosa and Maria are still missing, however no-one seems willing to bring this fact up.

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)15:10:23
>> No. 15790 edit
File 137020487589.png - (171.21KB , 390x364 , Erika_CondescendingPoint.png )
15790
>>15789
"Well, then...would everyone here be willing to tell us what you were doing last night, starting from the time we all split up after receiving the letter at the dining hall? All of your testimonies could be very valuable in figuring out who the culprit is."

Last edited at 14/08/16(Sat)15:06:35
>> No. 15791 edit
"I came to the guesthouse with Hideyoshi, then left him in our room for the night. I spent the entire night down here, and I fell asleep on the sofa." Eva's the first to offer her alibi, and it matches up with what you've heard before.

"I came over with Battler, and we spent the evening playing card games and talking. I came down to check on Mom at about... 11 p.m, and went back to the cousin's room after that." George offers his next, and Battler nods, confirming it, offering his too.

"Similarly to George, I went to check on Kyrie at about 11, before heading back and going to bed."

Kyrie and Rudolf are next, the former speaking for both of them. "After dinner, we went back to our room to discuss the letter in private. Rudolf left for a cigarette and some fresh air at about 10:30, and came back shortly after Battler came to check on me. After that, we stayed up a little longer talking, but we were in bed by midnight."

Next up is Natsuhi. "After dinner, I went to talk with my husband about the letter. However, he asked me to leave him at about 10 p.m., as he was suffering from a headache. After that, I went to check on Jessica, then shortly after I went downstairs to make sure that the dining room had been cleared and to receive Genji's report. I would estimate that it was about 11 p.m by the time I finished and went to bed."

Jessica's testimony is far more simple. "After I left you in the dining room, I went straight up to my room. I spoke with Mother at around 10, then I locked my door for the night."

Gohda, Genji, and Kumasawa all offer similar stories. From 9p.m. until 12p.m, they were working, frequently moving between the kitchen, the dining hall, and the servant's room. At no point did any of them claim to have seen anyone enter the mansion. At midnight, Genji locked the doors to the mansion, and opened them at 6:00 the next morning.

Nanjo opens his mouth, but Battler holds up his hand to stop him from speaking. "Hold on. Let Erika ask any questions before we talk about your alibi, Doctor."
>> No. 15792 edit
File 140822872549.png - (156.21KB , 340x366 , Erika_Amused2.png )
15792
>>15791
"Natsuhi-san, I have a question. Didn't Krauss-san say when the two of you left the dining room, 'Father must know about this'? Yet you've mentioned nothing about either of you talking to Kinzo-sama about the issue. Why is that, I wonder...?"
>> No. 15793 edit
"I... I'm sorry, I missed something. Father hates being disturbed in person, so we called him using the internal line. However, as soon as my husband mentioned Beatrice, he erupted into laughter, and demanded not to be disturbed until she arrived in person." She gives a small, delicate sigh, before continuing.

"Since my husband solved the epitaph, Father's mental health has deteriorated rapidly. He has grown increasingly obsessed over the idea of Beatrice, and I fear that this may have had an ill effect on him. It would be best not to disturb him until he comes to us."
>> No. 15794 edit
File 140589059012.png - (156.24KB , 340x366 , Erika_Condescending2.png )
15794
>>15793
"Unless it turns out that he's the culprit, that is. He certainly sounds like the most likely person here to be a psychopathic killer from what you're saying at the moment.

But I digress. George-san, was Eva-san asleep when you came to check on her? I'd also like to ask both you and Battler-san whether you heard anything at all from Hideyoshi-san's room. According to Eva-san, he snores quite loudly for a while when he first goes to sleep; could either of you remember when you last heard him snore? It could provide a lower limit for the time of death."
>> No. 15795 edit
"Hm? Oh, no, Mother was still awake when I came downstairs. She had her head buried in an atlas, I think." Eva nods to confirm this, adding that she was awake until at least midnight.

Battler and George confer briefly, before confirming that they heard Hideyoshi snoring until just before 11 p.m. After that, neither of them heard anything from guestroom #2.
>> No. 15796 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15796
>>15795
"Mm, I see. Then if Eva-san was in the lounge the whole time, and Hideyoshi-san was alive when George-san went to check on her...that would imply that the murder must have occurred after Eva-san went to sleep. I don't suppose you have any idea of when that was, Eva-san?"
>> No. 15797 edit
Battler snorts at this, and Eva gives him a foul look, before replying to your question.

"As I said before, I was awake until at least midnight; I distinctly remember hearing the clock in the corner chime. Unfortunately, I was so engrossed in my reading that I can't give you a more accurate time."
>> No. 15798 edit
File 140762141336.png - (160.83KB , 390x364 , Erika_SmileBow.png )
15798
>>15797
"Okay, that's fine. Next, Genji-san...It's not related to these murders, but I'm just curious about your movements today. Gohda-san said he last saw you taking dinner to Kinzo-sama, but then we next saw you returning from the guesthouse; what made you come over here?"
>> No. 15799 edit
"After opening the mansion doors at 6:00, I attended to a few clerical duties in the servant's room, before heading out to make the morning survey of the grounds. Usually, this falls to gardening staff, but at present we do not have anyone to fill that role.

Just after 7:30, I came to the guesthouse to make the beds, and I found Dr. Nanjo here. It appears he'd slept in guestroom #1, which was allotted to Rosa and Maria. Shortly afterwards, Master Battler's group arrived, and I was sent to fetch you after they entered guestroom #3."
>> No. 15800 edit
File 135290040927.png - (797.12KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful2.png )
15800
>>15799
"Wait, Doctor Nanjo was sleeping in Rosa-san's room? Why didn't he have his own place to sleep, and how would he have gotten the key? I'm sure that guestroom was locked when I checked this morning..."
>> No. 15801 edit
Nanjo finally speaks up, and this time Battler allows it.

"Well, yes... You see, when guests aren't present, it's my room, and in my old age I'm somewhat attached to routine. When I came to the mansion yesterday evening at Rosa's request, she told me that she would not be sleeping in the guesthouse, and knowing that it's usually my room, gave me the key for the night.

I'm something of a heavy sleeper, so I only awoke when Genji entered to make the bed. If you tried to rouse me before then, I'm sorry that I failed to hear you."
>> No. 15802 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
15802
>>15801
"Hm, I see. Well, I think that covers all the questions I had for now. Battler-san, did you have anything you wanted to ask?"
>> No. 15803 edit
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMVh99cpPuk

"Yeah, it's something you brought up, actually. Genji, does the servant's room have it's own key?"

Genji blinks, somewhat taken aback, before responding. "No. That would be unnecessary, as all servants have their master keys on them at all times."

Battler shoots you a smug look, before moving on. "Alright then. On the topic of master keys, do all three of you have them on you?"

At this point, you notice Kumasawa's cheeks flush angrily, and she and Genji reach into their clothes, before presenting their keys. Gohda, however, makes no such move, and turns deathly pale.

"Gohda... You don't have your key, do you?" Before the chef can utter a response, Kumasawa cuts in, giving you a glare as she speaks.

"Gohda lost his master key at some point yesterday. After the incident with the letter, we didn't want to cause a panic, so we kept it to ourselves."

Battler nods, and despite the weight of this revelation, the room remains calm. Now, he gestures to Nanjo, and the physician begins to speak once more.

"Regarding my movements last night... As I stated before, I was called to the parlor by Rosa, where I attended to some of hers and Maria's medical needs. After that, I returned to the guesthouse and went to bed, however..." He shifts uncomfortably before continuing. "I had trouble going to sleep, what with people moving about early on in the night, so at about 1 a.m., I came down here to pour myself a nightcap. At that time, the lights were on in here, but there was no-one else present. Eva's reading materials were still on the table, but at that time, I can confirm that she was not in the guest house."
>> No. 15804 edit
File 140830525111.jpg - (75.61KB , 640x480 , scr_33.jpg )
15804
Battler's foul smile returns, and all eyes fall on him as he begins to speak. "So. We know from Dr. Nanjo's testimony that Aunt Eva left the guesthouse before 1 am., and lied about it. We know that a master key is missing. And finally, we know that, when we first discovered guestroom #2, Aunt Eva was the first to rush in to see the corpse.

With all this, the identity of the culprit is clear. Eva, you killed Krauss and Hideyoshi! You snuck upstairs, and killed your husband, then locked the door with the #2 key. Then, using the master key that Gohda dropped, you entered the mansion after the servants finished working, and entered Krauss's room to kill him! You left the guesthouse key there, locked the room with his key, and returned to the guesthouse. Finally, as we went into guestroom #2, you rushed to the corpse and planted Krauss' key before any of us could notice!"

The world cracks, and the other pieces fall away. All that's left is you, Battler, and two shadowy figures at either side of a chessboard.

"Well, detective? Can you find a flaw in my reasoning? Or maybe you'd like to dream up some other, implausible 'truth'?"

Last edited at 14/08/17(Sun)12:54:54
>> No. 15805 edit
File 136934274866.png - (200.85KB , 518x417 , Erika_Smile2Scythe2.png )
15805
>>15804
"It's too late to say anything for sure, Battler-san. It's also possible for Doctor Nanjo to be the culprit. He lied about Eva-san being absent from the guesthouse! He was in fact the one who found Gohda-san's lost key, and he carried out the crime during the night in the way that you described! Can you disprove it!?"
>> No. 15806 edit
File 14083066683.jpg - (122.44KB , 640x480 , scr_30.jpg )
15806
Eva was the first person into guestroom #2 when Battler's group discovered it, and she is the only person who could have planted the key at that time without being noticed.

From behind Battler, a flash rises up above the two figures, and his blue is protected from your attack by a wall of red.

"If that's the case, then how did Krauss' key arrive on Hideyoshi's corpse?"
>> No. 15807 edit
File 140830905394.jpg - (53.00KB , 500x402 , erikaK.jpg )
15807
>>15806
"That's easy! After killing Krauss-san and returning to the guesthouse, he opened Hideyoshi-san's guestroom with Gohda-san's master key, placed Krauss-san's key in there, and then locked the door with Gohda-san's master key!"
>> No. 15808 edit
Your blue hits, and Battler staggers backwards, before offering his own rebuttal. Meanwhile, the two figures behind him seem to have paused their game, and are watching you both intently.

"If Eva was here the whole night, then she would have seen Nanjo leaving the guesthouse! Can you explain how he got about with her down here the whole time?"
>> No. 15809 edit
File 14083096501.jpg - (12.74KB , 224x225 , Erikas_Noble_Phantasm.jpg )
15809
>>15808
"She said she went to sleep at some point after midnight! Doctor Nanjo would just have to wait for her to fall asleep and then proceed to commit the crime!!"
>> No. 15811 edit
File 140831033986.jpg - (127.98KB , 640x480 , scr_31.jpg )
15811
Your blue strikes true and impales Battler, causing him to sink to his knees. One of the figures begins to applause, whilst the other huffs and turns back to the game, lifting and moving one of the pieces.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZB7aTrX2bE

You're back in the guesthouse, facing a dejected and humiliated Battler. George and Eva are glaring daggers at him, whilst Kumasawa seems to be applauding quietly. Eventually, Kyrie breaks the awkward almost-silence.

"Well, I think we've proven that it's too soon to jump to any conclusions. Still, no lasting harm done. With Battler's ridiculous assumptions aside, is there anything else anyone wants to address?"

Last edited at 14/08/17(Sun)14:18:59
>> No. 15812 edit
File 13702032519.png - (150.93KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile3.png )
15812
>>15811
"Well, as satisfying as it has been to beat that fool's pitiful logic into the ground, I believe it would be best if we could all head to the parlor next."

I explain to the people who weren't in the mansion group about why I wanted to go there earlier.
>> No. 15813 edit
Everyone quickly agrees, and with an uneasy silence hanging over the group, you begin making your way outside. Battler walks alone at the front of the group, and the adults make up the main body, whilst you and the cousins take up the rear. George is shaking with anger, and Jessica seems happy to leave him that way, her eyes drilling holes into Battler's back for the entire journey.

As you enter the mansion, something immediately strikes you as off. The parlor doors are open, and even from this distance, you can see that they've been forced open, a considerable feat. The group stalls in the entrance hall, unsure what to make of this.
>> No. 15814 edit
File 140589059012.png - (156.24KB , 340x366 , Erika_Condescending2.png )
15814
>>15813
"Oh, what's going on here...?"

I'll move toward the doors and take a look inside.
>> No. 15815 edit
File 140831127664.jpg - (51.12KB , 640x480 , scr_32.jpg )
15815
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uy6rfyZwnU

The parlor is almost exactly as you remember it from your brief visit yesterday. The curtains are pulled closed, and on the table is a small tea-set, consisting of a teapot and two cups. However, you find it difficult to focus on the details, given the horror that's sitting in one of the armchairs facing the door.

A female corpse, dressed in the clothes you saw Rosa wearing last night, is slumped forwards in the chair. The head is missing, and you and the group are treated to the gristly, disturbing image of the bloody, ragged stump of her neck.
>> No. 15816 edit
File 136355263656.png - (773.65KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Disinterested.png )
15816
>>15815
As usual, I'll examine the corpse more closely and survey the room.
>> No. 15817 edit
You check the corpse, and find no wounds other than the obvious one. You notice, however, that compared to the corpse in guestroom #2, this one seems to have bled considerably less, with the only visible bloodstains being on the front of its dress.

The teacups have both been used; one has been completely drained, whilst the other is still half-full of cold tea. It has an off-putting, artificial smell to it. As you continue to investigate, you move behind one of the sofas, and are stunned by what's lying there, hidden from view to those still standing in the doorway.

Another corpse, this one that of a young girl, dressed in Maria's clothes. The head is missing, and the stump is still seeping blood into the carpet. The corpse still seems relatively warm.
>> No. 15818 edit
File 135227252415.png - (775.70KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Protest.png )
15818
>>15817
I turn to the others. "Doctor Nanjo, you said you attended to some medical needs for Rosa-san and Maria-san earlier, didn't you? Would you mind elaborating on that? I think you'll agree that this isn't the time to be worrying about their privacy."
>> No. 15819 edit
The group seems, for the most part, to have become desensitized to the sight of bodies, however when you bring up Maria, Jessica's eyes widen, and she runs to see for herself, before recoiling with a choked sob.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nanjo manages to answer your questions, despite being rather flustered about the two new corpses.

"Well, I er... Yes. Maria is a particularly hyperactive child, and Rosa frequently asks me to provide her with a mild sedative on conference weekends, to keep her from disturbing everyone. Rosa herself struggles with getting to sleep, so she often takes a similar sedative. I keep a supply of both varieties in my bag come this weekend every year."
>> No. 15821 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
15821
>>15819
"I see. Thank you for the information."

I'll then go over to the teapot and open it, in case there happens to be a severed head inside or something.
>> No. 15822 edit
The teapot is devoid of severed heads. Some dregs remain in the bottom of the pot, long since gone cold.
>> No. 15823 edit
File 135322925326.png - (775.35KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Wary.png )
15823
>>15822
I'll examine the parlor doors more closely. Can I figure out anything about how they were forced open?
>> No. 15824 edit
Judging by the splintering of the frame and the lack of damage to the hinges, you deduce that the doors were smashed in from the entrance hall side, by a single, massive blow.

You find that the lock for the door is still set, for what little good it's worth now.
>> No. 15825 edit
File 136076381187.png - (0.97MB , 1109x1037 , Erika_ConfidentSmilePose2.png )
15825
>>15824
I clap my hands loudly, to draw everyone's attention to the detective.

"Everyone, I'd like to point out that this room was locked only a short while ago. Everyone who was with me at the time can confirm this. With that in mind, who could have broke down this door and killed Maria-chan since then?

Everyone on this island has been totally accounted for the whole time, and therefore has a perfect alibi...except for one person. ......I shouldn't have to say who that is, right? Don't you all think it's about time we went to check on Kinzo-sama?"
>> No. 15826 edit
At this, George laughs nervously, pushing his glasses up his nose. "You're right, of course. The only person who could have done this is Grandfather..."

The world twists, and you see him in the space where you recently confronted Battler, but the vision drops as soon as it appears.

"... I will not risk myself and my daughter in such a foolish endeavor. Father keeps a stockpile of guns in his room, as you well know. If he's waiting for us up there, then it'll be a bloodbath." Natsuhi is the only person to object, and after a moment's hesitation, Jessica walks over to her.

At this, Kyrie chuckles and shrugs. "If you want to stay here alone with your dear daughter, whilst our father is running about on a rampage, be my guest. The rest of us are going up to the study, right?" A murmur of agreement rises from the rest of the group, however before they leave, Eva and Nanjo hang back, clearly waiting to talk to you. As the rest of the group make for the stairs, Natsuhi second-guesses herself, and she and Jessica follow suit.
>> No. 15827 edit
File 136922601321.png - (155.50KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile32.png )
15827
>>15826
I'll stay back to talk to Eva and Nanjo.

"Hmm? Yes, what is it? We're about to confront the culprit, you know, it's hardly the time for interruptions."

Last edited at 14/08/17(Sun)15:29:24
>> No. 15828 edit
"Regarding your earlier accusations-" Nanjo begins to speak, but as one should expect by now, he is not allowed to finish, as Eva interjects.

"I wanted to clear something up regarding the alibis we discussed earlier. Dr Nanjo is correct, at 1a.m., I was not in the guesthouse. At around that time, I thought I'd figured out a trick in the epitaph, and went to investigate the chapel. I was gone for about 20 minutes, but I knew if I said anything, Battler and his family would jump on it like hyenas on a corpse."
>> No. 15829 edit
File 136920689760.png - (152.00KB , 340x366 , Erika_Smile4.png )
15829
>>15828
"Ah, that makes sense. I didn't really think Doctor Nanjo was lying about it, of course, but you weren't defending yourself at the time and I couldn't see any other way of rebutting Battler-san. Your honesty is much appreciated, thank you. ...Well then, is it time to finally meet the elusive former family head? I must admit, I'm quite excited to meet him after all this build-up..."
>> No. 15830 edit
"For your sake, I hope we don't find him. Father's a terrible man at the best of times, but if he's been driven to this..."

Eva wipes her forehead, and Nanjo offers her a sympathetic, before the two leave and make for the stairs.
>> No. 15831 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
15831
>>15830
I go along with them.
>> No. 15833 edit
New thread >>15832

Last edited at 14/08/17(Sun)15:58:43
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