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20240 No. 20240 edit

Hello. Welcome to a new gameboard I made. The rules are as follows:

* The game will be played through arguments rather than traditional red vs blue. The players will be required to present a theory explaining the murders and their reasoning behind it. Thus, no shotgunning will be allowed. There will have to be a clear thread of logic behind each and every assumption.
* That said -- this game is a lot less tight-knit than my other ones. In other words, there will probably be some strong theories that sufficiently explain the crime, but are not my intended truth. Those theories, when the time comes for it, I will deny with the red truth. (Keep in mind, though, I will also take advantage of this to take you off-track...)
* This game hasn't actually been tested, unlike my previous ones here. In other words, I have no idea how it will work. It also hasn't been sufficiently proof-read, so if there are any parts of the text that are unclear or just flat-out don't make sense, please point them out to me and ask me to clarify. I'd hate for you to theorize down a wrong path because I poorly worded something (or just lost my train of thought while typing a long sentence or something).
* The win condition is determining the whodunnit, howdunnit and whydunnit.
* Putting my cards on the table - the prologue is purely optional and holds no clues to the identity of the culprit, aside from the few red truths present in it to establish an objective viewpoint.

Onto some general definitions:

* The culprit is the one responsible for the deaths that take place on the night/early morning during which this story takes place in. (The reason for this definition is because I don't want to deal with a headache when it comes to traps/devices, etc. Those are fair game, as long as it's explained how they work in sufficient detail. The second part, to clarify -- the murders take place from the night of one day and then carry over into the early morning of the following day. There is a death mentioned in this story that takes place before the events described, so I didn't want the reader to be left with a wrong idea.)
* There is only one culprit.
* The culprit is a human being.
* An accomplice is someone willingly assisting the culprit in the execution of the crimes. (This includes lying for the culprit's sake.)
* There are no accomplices.
* The solution to this mystery is nothing supernatural. (Zombies, witches, demons, magical time-stop watches etc. are out of the question.)
* The culprit must be someone that has appeared prominently in the story. (During the story, a clear list of suspects will be outlined and given, don't worry.)

And... yeah, that's pretty much it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask and, uh.. yeah.

Have fun!

Last edited at 17/03/15(Wed)13:57:50
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>> No. 20241 edit
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The last thing I remember is water filling my lungs. Well - I guess that's not entirely true. I do remember other things. Vague flashes, at least. I remember how cold the water was. I remember not being able to open my eyes. I could never do that underwater. I remember the pain in my chest. I remember wanting to say something.

I remember his voice.

I remember my regret.

I remember the things I'd worked so hard to forget my entire life.

I remember wanting to cry.

For so many things.

And then -- I remember the blackness.

That was when I died, I think.
>> No. 20242 edit
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And then - and I just know this will sound cliche - a bright white light. An instant later, the pain and the water's cruel grasp were both gone. I was on the ground - somewhere. I wondered, in that drowsy state, if I had survived. If I had somehow been washed ashore. I remember moving my toes, waiting to feel sand between my toes. Which would've meant that my face was on the sand too. And in my hair.


I never liked just lying on the beach.

But my concerns were misplaced. After several slight movements, I discovered I was on solid ground. Or, er - not a beach, at the very least. After all, grass was lightly touching the tip of my nose,, wasn't it?

Where was I, then?

I tried to open my eyes. My head was still a mess. In my ears a terrible ringing. "From the explosion," I told myself. But I remembered that it had stopped by the time I was on the boat with him.

"Ah, that's right." I mumbled. "I'm dead, aren't I?"

I chuckled.

"You are indeed." A voice from somewhere said. A woman's. Gentle and close. Comforting. The pain in my head didn't feel as bad all of a sudden. "Come now, my dear. Wake up. We don't have-- well, I suppose we do. But still. It would be nice if you were to wake up."

I knew that voice.

"V..." I tried to speak, this time putting more energy into opening my eyes. "...Virgilia?"

As light finally shone into my eyes - my suspicions were confirmed in an instant. There she was. Her blue hair the same as the one so distinctly etched into my mind. The same calm expression and demeanor. The same stoic posture.

Speaking was hard.

Something which Virgilia herself, as she calmly stood over me, took the time to assure me of. "Yes, dear. Oh, but don't try to speak. Your lungs are flooded with water." Ah. "That will cause a terrible strain on your body. Still - thankfully - you should still be able to move around. Come now. It's not fit for girls to be sleeping in, don't you know?"

I did my best. Getting my body to stand in place was harder than pushing myself up. It took a while. But Virgilia didn't mind. Of course she didn't.

After managing to get my bearings, I knew what my first priority should be. Asking where I was. What had happened. Virgilia smiled, almost as if she could the questions written on my face.

"You've escaped from the Inferno. Congratulations, my dear."

...Inferno? I didn't understand.

I looked around. We seemed to be... at a foot of a mountain or hill of some sort? I could hear water in the distance. Were we on an island? Rokkenjima? No - no, it couldn't have been Rokkenjima. This was... something else. Something different.

"It is dawn. It is, at this moment, sunset at Jerusalem, midnight over India and noon in Spain." Virgilia explained. I didn't get it, though. It sounded familiar enough, but... I just couldn't concentrate enough.

"It's okay, my dear." she said. "No need to worry yourself over it. Let's go, shall we? Can you walk? Good, good. We have much to climb. Ah, yes -- we'll be climbing this mountain, my dear. Hopefully it won't be too much of an issue."

Without being able to make any questions - and Virgilia not being interested in answering them for whatever reasons - I stumbled along after her. My body? My body was a shambling corpse, I felt. But I had to keep going, ultimately. Virgilia was guiding me, as she always had. And I had to listen. I had to do my best. Just this one last time.

At the lower slopes, we passed by a crowd of people. Virgilia motioned me not to pay them no mind. They seemed to be patiently waiting for something. Some were visibly frustrated but seemed to refuse to complain.

We continued. On our way up we passed through a few people. They seemed at a far less of a discomfort than those below, if nothing else.

We continued. Our next stop was a plain with people... walking around with... stones on their backs. "Worry not, my dear." she whispered to me. "Your place is not here."

We continued. The next scene was just as bizarre as the first one. People walking around with grey robes on them. Their eyes... sewn shut. In the air were voices. Telling stories. Tales. Of... I couldn't make it out at the time. "My dear," Virgilia told me. "You will have to be here for a while, okay?" Without awaiting my response, she stepped aside. My eyes closed - against my will. And I was wrapped around with something. And I found myself in blackness once more. My only comfort this time around being the voices. I could hear them much clearly now. And I listened.

I remembered the Ushiromiya family. I remembered the people among them who I loved. I remembered Rosa and her pain. I remembered wanting to live her life. To take care of Maria. I remembered George and Jessica going to school normally. Without the sense of shame. I remembered the other maids. I remember the parties they'd talk about. I remember the friends they'd talk about. I remembered... I remembered that Battler was, at a certain point in time, free from the grasp of his family name. I remembered the doubts in my mind - telling me that he'd found someone else that he was happy with. Someone he'd promised to be their white in shining armor.

The voices continued.

...In the end, my life was my own. Dreaming of a life like theirs... wanting it... it was always wrong to a point, wasn't it? Wasn't it this that had ultimately broken me so many times? Was it not this that led me to hate so many of them? Led me to hate myself?

I had a dream. But it was a tainted one.

After some time, the cloak was taken off me. My eyes opened.

"Very well. Let us continue." Virgilia told me.

It felt easier to walk, somehow.

We continued. We passed through a smoke of some kind. The people caught in it screamed and gritted their teeth. But it wasn't complete agony. There was... a sense of acceptance. As I was looking around - Virgilia had disappeared. And the smoke quickly engulfed me. Burning into my skin and flesh. I could no longer see anyone else. No matter where I went, there was just... more smoke. I was starting to get frustrated. What had I done to deserve all that pain, anyway? Who the hell was doing it all? Who was the cruel mastermind to this show?

I closed my eyes. I remembered my hatred towards Natsuhi. For the fact that she got to choose to be happy with Jessica instead of me. Was I not an Ushiromiya? Was I not flesh and blood...? And Kinzo -- was my entire creation not wrong and drenched in sin? How could he have done that? And... I remembered that damn body of mine. Why did I have to be who I was? The smoke burned itself deeper into my nostrils.

...But was this not where the tragedy ultimately lied? In the end, Natsuhi had not lead a happy life. Her worries had not disappeared by dropping me. If anything, I was dropped precisely because of her misery. Her happiness with Jessica was ultimately relief. And Kinzo? I hated him. But something in my heart told me -- that forgiveness was the only right path here. And in the end - who I was - my body - was not my choice. And was it not this hatred that sparked the riddle? The massacre?

I shouldn't have hated as much.

The smoke cleared. I could no longer see the others - with the exception of Virgilia, waiting for me in the distance. I began to understand.

We continued. The people in this terrace barely even noticed us. They were too busy talking amongst themselves. Doing things. Running about. Screaming, jumping, laughing, singing, crying... I couldn't make sense of it. "Worry not, my dear." Virgilia told me. "We won't be making a stop here."

We continued. The next clearing was of people lying down on the ground. Praying, what it seemed like. Virgilia made it clear we had no business there.

We continued. The next destination was an open field - a tree lying in the middle of it. People were gathered around it. They tried reaching for the fruit - but no matter how much or what they tried - the fruit was always out of reach. Virgilia did not stop, so neither did I.

We continued. Our final stop, as I came to realize, was a burning wall of flame. "You must walk through it, my dear." Virgilia told me. And without hesitation, I did so. It felt more like a sense of duty. I remembered Jessica. George. Battler. The fantasies that I'd made. Fantasies in which I had a functioning body. I could not decide who I loved, so I tried to love them all. And now, I burned. Like -- it's funny, really -- like a witch on a stake, no?

In the end, I was foolish. I'd let my desire to escape blind me. Jessica's love for Kanon... wasn't it really just teenage fantasy? A short fling? And was George really after true love or because... or because he could find nobody else to love him? Or because he wanted to defy his family? Or because... or because -- I don't know. Battler's promise was that of an eight-year old, yet it was so hard to let it go. Hope is a terrible thing.

I was blind. And in the end, I hurt everyone. The fault did not lie in me alone, but my actions ultimately led to things escalating. I have no regrets about feeling what I felt. But I do regret not being wiser about it.

And as I stepped out, the white light engulfed me once more. "Good job, my dear. Almost there."

And in the distance, I could hear a voice:

"Your sins in the world that you've left behind are hereby forgiven. Your actions are not that of a monster. Much less of someone needing to spend eternity in hell. No, my dear. I hereby grant you forgiveness. You are not the culprit. You are not the instigator for the tragedy on Rokkenjima."

I smiled. Despite knowing what I'd done - I was forgiven. My sins were erased.

Last edited at 17/03/05(Sun)09:29:03
>> No. 20243 edit
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"...Sayo. Sayo, please wake up."

In that blissful white, a voice spoke to me. An image appeared.

It was Shannon.

"My, look how far you've come. You've done good. You've almost escaped. When all of this is over - you will awake in a new world. A world in which these truths become reality. And your new life will be given to you. Do you understand?"

I nodded, without much thinking.

"There's something you have to do first." Another voice. Next to Shannon, Kanon faded into existence, standing next to her. "In order to escape this place... you have to let go of your previous life. And, in order to be happy... You have to get rid of us."

"You have to kill us, Sayo." Shannon said plainly.

These friends... these parts of me... I had to kill them?

"Indeed. What kind of ending would be worthy of a witch?" A gentle laugh wandered through my eyes as Beatrice materialized in front of me, the other two now standing next to her. "Shall we finish this?"

A sword was in my hand.

"It's okay." Beatrice told me. "A part of us will always be with you. But from now on..."

"You have to..." Shannon said.

"...Live for yourself. And you have to be you. Only one you." Kanon added.

"We believe in you."

"We always will."

I grasped the sword.

"It's okay. You've got this."

The pain in my lungs that had stopped me from speaking was gone. And so -- lifting the sword above my head, I simply said:


The sword swung down. The first one to be sliced was Shannon.

As she faded, her gentle voice comforted me:

"You are not Shannon. Shannon does not exist. You are Sayo."

I swung again. It was Kanon's turn.

"You are not Kanon. Kanon does not exist. You are Sayo."

And finally -- at the Golden Witch herself.

"You are not Beatrice. Beatrice does not exist. You are Sayo."

And as the world began to fade once more, I heard a mysterious voice in the distance.

"My child. In the creation of this new world, I hereby bless you with the following truths:

Sayo is female, with a perfectly functioning body.
Sayo is one person.
Sayo does not suffer from multiple personalities.
Sayo is not an Ushiromiya, by blood or otherwise.

I wanted to cry. My... body... was good? I was only one person? I was not born in sin? I wouldn't have to kill anyone? I felt... happy. I felt good.

At long last, had I reached paradise.

And in that joy, I felt my body peacefully fall apart.

It was then, however, that I began to doubt if I was going to paradise - or straight back to hell. Because the voice said one last thing:

"...And for all the suffering in the previous world and everything you've endured, I at along last - give you this final blessing:

You, Sayo, are the detective."

"...No." I said. "No! No, I don't want to be a detective! No! That means th-- That means that it'll just happen again! That means people will still die! No! No, this isn't what I wanted, no! Please, no! Just let me go! Let me fall apart! No! I don't want another world Idontwanttobebroughtbackpleasepleaseple

Last edited at 17/03/05(Sun)09:52:56
>> No. 20244 edit
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Part 1: Born Anew

"--Aah!" My body jerked up. I frantically looked around. The servants' room. "Ugh... Aah..." I had to calm my breathing. "Just... just a nightmare." I told myself. Even though, admittedly, I couldn't even remember what it was about. But the sweat running through my uniform was a good tip-off. In panic, I glanced at the clock on the wall. 8 PM. A sigh of relief. I still had an hour before my shift started. Enough time to make myself look... well, not like an absolute mess.

After a cold shower to get my head back in the game, I happened to glance myself in the mirror. I'm not sure what I was looking for, exactly. Same face. Same name. Same little ol' me.

Sayo. The maid to the Ushiromiya family. "One so faithful that she had been blessed with a tattoo, making her practically a part of the family." I said to myself in the mirror. And then laughed. As if. Even if they wanted me - I sure as hell wasn't giving myself. I mean -- well, at the very least -- I didn't want to share the name. Or have any business with the adults. Which, being a part of the family, I figured, would've entailed.

I put on my spare uniform. Trying to shake off the remnant of the nightmare, I reminded myself of what was going on.

The family conference was happening. It was an annual thing. The illustrious family gathered on the small isolated island of Rokkenjima, storm hit, so they'll be staying an extra day. It didn't bother me. "I can stand them for two days", I figured.

Admittedly, this conference was going to be a bit tougher. After all, Kinzo - the previous head of the family - had died just a few months prior. The expected squabble amongst the siblings was inevitable and it was in full swing. Talks of inheritance, blackmail, putting pressure on one another, team-ups, deals, petty insults - you name it, they had it. You could cut the tension in a room with a butter knife.

But I wasn't going to let that bring me down. I had a job to do. Besides, I could always go and hang out with the cousins on my breaks, which helped with the stress. And not like it was any of my business to begin with. They were free to do whatever they wanted, as far as I was concerned, provided they were polite to me. Which they were, thankfully. Most of them, at least.

I glanced at the clock again. 8:30 PM. It was time to get over from the guesthouse to the main house for my shift. Wasn't a great thing to do with the rain falling outside, especially after a shower. But I didn't exactly have a choice.
>> No. 20245 edit
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As I entered the mansion, I was greeted by Genji, the head servant. "You're early." he said to me.

"Well, you know what they say. Any early bird catches the something something worm!" I responded, putting my umbrella in the rack amongst the others.

"...I would implore you not to try and catch 'something-something'." Genji said. "At least, not with the family members."

"Don't worry. I'm not looking for a boyfriend."

"I do not believe you will have much luck with the women in the family, either."

"Wow, aren't you on fire tonight? What happened to being professional to the bone?"

"I am just that, Sayo. While interacting with you, however, one needs a different approach to ensure an all-around professional service."

"I'm not a child, you know:"

"So you say."

"So I know!" I said, sticking my tongue out at him. He merely sighed in response. "Where is everyone? The parlor, I'm assuming by the voices?"

"Indeed. I was just about to serve drinks. Shall we?" He handed me a tray with drinks and we made our way to the parlor.

On our way there, we happened to pass through the main hall. One of the things that always caught my eye was the massive empty frame of a painting on the wall. It hadn't always been empty, mind you. It used to have a painting of a blonde woman wearing a western dress. But after Kinzo's death, the current head of the family promptly took it down. "Too creepy." he said at the time. I can't help but feeling he was right. He kept the frame in hopes of putting up another portrait later down the line. There also used to be a pedestal in front of the painting, which had the engraving:

"To my beloved witch Beatrice. May you rest in peace."

...And nothing more than that.
>> No. 20246 edit
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The parlor was as lively as ever. Well, no surprise, given that everyone on the island had gathered in one room. The list of people was:

Eva & Hideyoshi [Eva being the daughter of Kinzo - the former head, Hideyoshi was a spouse]
George [Their son]
Kyrie & Rudolf [Husband and wife, Rudolf being the one with Kinzo's blood]
Battler [Their son]
Natsuhi & Krauss [Krauss being the oldest son and the current head of the Ushiromiya family; they were the main inhabitants of the island]
Rosa [Kinzo's daughter, divorced]
Maria [Her daughter]
Genji, Kumasawa, Me [The servants on the island]

All in all, a total of 13 people.

"...Ah. Sayo." George was the first to acknowledge me, as I began handing out drinks to everyone. "We were wondering where you'd gone off to."

"I wasn't feeling all that well, so I went to get some rest during my break. Hopefully there weren't any issues while I was away?"

"Nah, all good." Battler said. "But, er - you know, orange juice wasn't what I had in mind when Genji said he'd bring refreshments..." he commented as he took a glass from my tray.

"Now, now," Rudolf chuckled. "While everyone here is probably an alcoholic, it's not exactly common courtesy to go around making it obvious for everyone to see."

"...He says that, being the only one to ask Genji to specifically give him whiskey. Incredible." Kyrie pointed out, leaning back in her chair.

"Nobody said I was a man of courtesy." Rudolf laughed. "By the way, good stuff. Excellent choice, Genji." he said, taking a sip from his glass.

"Thank you, Rudolf-sama." Genji bowed.

"The quality of servants has never been better, really!" Hideyoshi pointed out. "I mean, Genji's always been around--"

"--And so has Kumasawa. Which would mean that you're referring to Sayo here. Anything I should know about, dear husband?" Eva interjected, a sly smile on her face.

"Wh-What?! N-No, I was just--"

"Sayo, my dear." She turned to look at me. "I would appreciate it if you didn't go about seducing the men of my household. It would be... most inconvenient for you." What on Earth was that supposed to mean?

"Well-aware, Miss Eva."

"That so...?" Her eyes narrowed. Was she actually suspicious of me?

"N-Now, mother..." George butted in. "Let's not do this."

"Do what, George?"

"Well-- I-- Oh, never mind." George simply shrugged under his mother's gaze. He then turned to me. "Sorry about that. She gets... ideas. Generally wrong ones."

"I'll have you know, I'm an excellent judge of character. And I'm far from an old woman unable to use her head when something obvious is going on."

"I beg to differ." Krauss said.

"Hoh?" Eva smiled. This time a foul air of wickedness covered the room. "Was I not right about your wife there? Was I not right to judge her as useless? Was I not right to deem her unworthy of our name? Was I--"

"That's enough!" Krauss slammed his fist on the table in the center of the room. "You will NOT speak to her in that manner."

"I'll speak to her however I damn well please, my dear Krauss! Being the family head doesn't exclude you from criticism. And really, if she wasn't so useless, she should have enough spine to defend herself, shouldn't she?" Eva lit a cigarette.

"Okay, we're... I mean, you're taking this a bit too far." Rosa spoke up now. "You know how hard it must've been for her. And to just attack her like this--"

"I can speak for myself." Natsuhi, who had silently been sitting next to Krauss and simply listening to the exchange, did not seem to be fazed by Eva's words. "You're correct. I have failed to give Krauss what he desired the most."

"N-Natsuhi--" Krauss wanted to stop her, but...

"...But really, isn't it better this way for you? Once he and I die and rot away, you'll finally get the position as the head. And you'll get to enjoy and relish in the fact that our savings are depleted and we're in massive debt. You'll get to carry our burdens in addition to your own. Ah - by the way - how is your business going, my dear Eva?"

Everyone was taken aback. Even me. I was the one who had served the family for a few years now and in no point during that time did I see or hear Natsuhi do something this out of her usual mild-mannered character.

"And, once you're dead, George will then get to inherit the misery you won't be competent enough to fix for yourself. Truly, a joyous moment for us all. What a fantastic thing it will be for you, to have had a child worthy of the Ushiromiya name."

"Enough!" Eva roared from her seat, now clearly agitated. Natsuhi was anything but.

"Of course. I apologize." Natushi simply said. "I wouldn't dream of offending someone directly to their face in hopes of humiliating them in front of their family. Truly, my apologies. Really. How callous of me to do something so insensitive."


"Mother, you..." George appeared as if he wanted to say something, but stopped himself short once again.

"Uu." Maria ended up making a noise. "Maria wants to watch TV."

"Of course, dear." Kumasawa said. "We don't have a signal, but we'll find some tapes for you to watch."
>> No. 20247 edit
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Two hours after that little exchange, nothing of note had happened. People went in and out of the room for various reasons. Generally those who stayed ended up talking to the person to their side on random subjects. Something - anything - to get the awkward out of the air. The only thing truly lightening up the mood were the cartoons Maria was watching on the TV in the corner of the room.

At around 10 PM, everyone was back together. Not for long, admittedly.

"...I'll be right back. Excuse me." George at one point said, quite suddenly standing up and walking out of the room. Thinking about it now, he'd stayed in the parlor up to that moment. At the time, I just figured he was going to the bathroom or something of the sort. I also seem to remember having a strange urge to follow him. And of course, in hindsight, I should have. But what reason could I have had at the time?

How could I have known?

Time passed.

I noticed that something in the room had changed. Everyone was still talking, and the awkwardness from before was still there, but... something felt different. Something felt... wrong. I couldn't put my finger on what, though. Had something happened while I wasn't paying attention?

An hour passed.

The grandfather clock in the main hall rang to signal 11 PM.

"Hey... where's George?" Battler pointed out. "Shouldn't he have been back by now?"

"Wasn't he heading off to sleep or something?" Hideyoshi said.

"I seem to remember him saying he would be right back." I offered a few words of my own.

"Me too. That's kinda why I'm worried." Battler said, his arms crossed. He did seem genuinely concerned. "I have a bad feeling about this."

"Don't be so dramatic, Battler." Kyrie smiled. "I'm sure it's nothing."

"Actually... it HAS been an hour. We should go look to be sure." Natsuhi said.

"Well, we might as well. Let's face it, this family won't be able to have a normal interaction until we sleep today off." Rudolf stood up.

Kumasawa chuckled. "Shall we split up, then?"
>> No. 20248 edit
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"...Why should we search outside?" Battler asked, eyeing me suspiciously. Again - completely unwarranted suspicion. Was it the color of my hair, I wonder?

"The others are probably going to search other parts of the mansion. We might as well check outside. Maybe he'd for whatever reason gone for the guesthouse but got himself stuck somewhere outside? You never know." I said.

"Hrm, fair point." Battler said, and the two of us ended up stepping outside. The rain was at that point getting quite heavy.

"So, you and George..." he began, making his way down the stairs leading into the rose garden.

"Oh, not you too!" I protested. "Look - there's nothing there."

"Really? I wonder about that..." He grinned.

"You can wonder all you like, Battler, but the answer will be the same. Nothing there."

"Oh, so you're free?" His grin just wasn't letting up.

"If you want to seduce me - thanks, I'm flattered - but no thanks." I said, looking around. No George in sight.

"Is it because I'm not tanned? You know, I was thinking of visiting the salon and--"

"No means no, smartass." I jokingly punched his shoulder.

"Ow. Ha ha. Okay, okay. Sorry. That wasn't really as funny as I thought it would be. I pictured you more as the shy maid in my mind."

"That was the younger me. Not my fault you weren't around for six years to see me grown and blossom into the embodiment of perfection that I am absolutely now."

"...Ah." he said. "Listen, about six years ago. What I said--"

"Oh, you remember?" I chuckled. "It's fine. We were kids. Don't worry about it, honestly."

Ultimately, we turned up nothing in the garden. So we decided to go around to the other side of the mansion.

And it was there that we saw him.

George. Lying on the ground.
>> No. 20249 edit
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Part 2: The First Death

"G-George!" The only thing I could bring myself to say at the time. We both ran over to him.

"H-Hey, George! George, can you hear me?!" Battler said. But neither of us crouched down to look at his face. Because the truth was obvious by just looking at him.

He was lying on his stomach, his head looking to the side. A few meters away from him were his glasses, broken. Even in the rain, I could tell that something was wrong with his neck. It was... twisted, somehow. His back had all sorts of marks on it. As if someone had stomped on him. His right arm looked broken.

He wasn't moving. Not an inch.

I crouched down. His eyes were blank and unresponsive. His mouth half-open.

"Battler, he's... He's...!"

He put his hand on my shoulder.

"Dammit... George... George, come on, buddy..." he crouched down next to me, his expression that of hopelessness and defeat. "George... Why...? What the hell happened...?"

"Hey! What are you two doing over there?" A voice from behind us. I turned around to see Genji and Krauss approach us. "What's the matter?" Krauss said, not noticing George's corpse. "If you want some privacy I'm sure you could've found it somewhere that.... isn't... outsi..."

And then he noticed.

"Dear God..."

Genji leapt to George. Being a doctor in the army during the second World War, Genji had more than enough experience as a medical examiner. He looked over George, trying to find any sign of life. But it was no use.

"...He's dead." Genji simply said. "No question about it."

"What... what the hell happened?!" Krauss demanded to know.

"We just found him like this... I..." I couldn't even really explain it. This... was clearly no natural death.

"It's hard to tell at this point in time, but... it looks as if someone had beat him. And then snapped his neck." Genji said, lifting up George's shirt. "These are bruises on his back. Someone had kicked him while he was on the ground." He then turned him on his back and examined him. "Some of his ribs are broken, too... Whoever he had faced against, it was quite an adversary." It's true. George's face looked like it had taken quite a massive blow. His skull, by the looks of it, had been cracked open as well.

"So it wasn't... an accident... What the hell?! Who would do something like this?!" Battler asked. But nobody could have really given him an answer at the time, could they've?

But it was looking to be a clear case of murder.

I checked George's pockets for clues. Krauss didn't seem to object, as if realizing that I had no intentions of stealing a dead man's wallet. He barely had anything on him, though. The exception being two keys.

The first one was to his room (which was in the mansion; the mansion had enough rooms to ensure nobody had to sleep over in the guesthouse, sans the servants -- Battler and George each got their own room, while Maria stayed her mother's room).

The second one was...

"...I don't understand." I said, showing the key to Genji. The shape of it was quite distinct and beyond familiar to both of us. "Isn't this...?"

"...The key to the VIP room, yes." he confirmed it.

That didn't make sense. That was the only key to that room. It couldn't have even been opened by a master key. We all kept good care of it. It should have been in the servants' room at that time, back at the guesthouse... so why on Earth did George have it on him?

I decided to keep both keys on my person. Something told me the second one would be of great importance.
>> No. 20250 edit
File 148873536499.png - (403.62KB , 640x480 , 8.png )
We moved his body inside. The news was obviously hard on everyone. Eva especially. "Who did this?!" she screamed. Most of us had the same question on our mind. At the very least, I had.

From the point where George had left to the point where we decided to go look for him - nobody had left the parlor. And right afterwards... everyone had split up. Potentially, that could have been the time for the culprit to strike. By that logic, anyone aside from me and Battler was a valid suspect.

But if that was the case, where had George been for that hour? And given that Battler and me left the mansion almost immediately after everyone else split up... from that point to the point where we found the body, no more than 10 minutes could have passed. Could George have been killed in such a brutal matter in that short amount of time?

Then again -- all of that was assuming that the killer was one of the family members. The explanation is easy if we assume the existence of an outsider. And as much as I wanted it to be a valid possibility - it simply wasn't.

There was no extra person.

With all these questions, I decided to take a look at his room. Maybe that held the key as to why someone might've wanted him dead. Battler and Genji accompanied me. Genji's reasons were to protect me should the intruder still be lurking around. Battler cited the same reasons but I figured he was curious more than anything.

We went upstairs, as George's room was on the second of the three floors in total.

And as soon as we got to his room, Battler pointed something out.

"Huh, that's odd." he said. "Before we went down to the parlor originally I remember meeting George at the door to his room. I distinctly remember him not locking the door at the time. So why is it locked now?"

Indeed, it was locked.

"Why on Earth do you remember a detail like that?" I asked him.

"Because I remember finding it weird to just not lock the door to your room, y'know? I mean, what if you had something important in there?"

"Aren't you all supposed to be family?"

"Yes. But we're the Ushiromiya family."

"Point taken." I said, putting the key to George's room I'd found on his corpse in the lock. With a click, the door opened.

George's room was, frankly, nothing special. A bed, a desk, a window, a walk-in closet and a door leading to a bathroom of his own. The window was open, so I closed it. We then proceeded to check around for clues. First things first - no, there was nobody hiding in the room. Or the bathroom. And as for our search - we didn't find much. No signs of attack, no notes, no writings, no mysterious shoeprints. It was a bit sad, really.

Until we got to George's suitcase.

It was the only thing in his room that proved to be interesting. And ultimately - absolutely horrifying.

Because you see - the suitcase held no clothes or footwear. It was actually almost completely empty. Almost - if it was not for an envelope. A rather big one. On it was written "To the Ushiromiya family". Quite the address. The envelope itself was actually open at the time we found it. And inside was...

A video tape.
>> No. 20251 edit
File 148873538218.png - (554.90KB , 640x480 , 9.png )
Part 3: The Tape

I pushed the tape into the VCR positioned beneath the TV Maria had been watching cartoons on earlier. We were all gathered around it. Even George, whose body had been wrapped and put on one of the sofas.

For the first few moments - static.

Then -- a shot of a wooden floor. The video seems to have been shot from a handheld camera. The camera was lightly shaking, in sync with the cameraman's breathing. The room they appeared to be in was dark. I could faintly make out shoes - sneakers. Ones that could've easily been worn by either a male or female. No information there.

The camera jerked up.

And in the shot -- in that dark room -- was a figure. A woman. It was also hard to tell, but the room behind her appeared to be in complete and utter disarray. We're talking major damage to the furniture.

"What... is this?" The woman pondered, clearly taken aback at the room's state.

At first, I couldn't make out who the woman was supposed to be. But she was standing next to a table, one miraculously left safe amongst all the other debris -- and one with a lamp placed on it; the room's only source of light. And then, I realized. Along with everyone else.

It was Natsuhi. Her face was that of obvious shock.

"Wh-Who are you? What are you doing here?" we should hear her say.

Some faces turned to look at the Natsuhi standing among us, looking at what appeared to be footage of herself. She was shocked. One could say absolutely mortified. "Th-That... What is that...?" she asked.

My attention was on the tape the entire time.

The cameraman slowly approached her.

"I-I said: Who are you?!"

The cameraman was not interested in answering the question. He continued to get closer.

"G-Get away! Get away!"

And then -- the cameraman, along with the camera, lunged at her. She fell to the ground, with the cameraman now on top of her. She let out a loud, bone-chilling scream.

"S-Stop, please!" she begged. But once again - the cameraman had no interest in listening to her. He placed his free hand on her neck and very clearly pressed down. "N... No!" Natsuhi said, gasping for air. The cameraman calmly put the camera down next to Natsuhi, her upper body now clearly in the shot. The cameraman's silhouette could also be seen, but once again -- nothing about their identity, appearance or gender could be discerned.

With their other hand now free, they proceeded to strangle Natsuhi with the might of both of their hands.

"Grrk... N... Nkghh..." Natsuhi begged. Tried to resist. A tear running down her cheek. "Sth... N...!" But the cameraman did not let up. "Plgh... N..."

The cameraman did not let up. And a few short moments later, the Natushi stopped resisting. And then moving altogether.

She was dead.

The cameraman continued to hold his hand around her neck before finally releasing. Her head plopped to the side - her face away from the camera. The cameraman stood over her for a few short moments, before finally taking the camera, standing up, and getting one good shot of Natushi's body.

The footage then ended.

Nobody could figure out what to make of it. Natushi -- the Natsuhi next to us, the very much ALIVE Natushi -- was completely silent. No less speechless than anyone else.

"What... is the meaning of this?!" Eva exclaimed at some point.

"I-I don't know!" Natsuhi said. "I have no idea what I just saw!"

"And what was... um, up with that timestamp?" Rosa added.

...Right. There was one more odd thing regarding that footage. In the upper right corner was a timestamp of when the footage was taken.

The date suggested it had been taken that very same day.

The problem?

According to the timestamp, the footage was taken... or, well - WOULD be taken two hours after we were seeing it at that moment in the parlor.

In other words.

The footage depicted a murder that hadn't yet happened.
>> No. 20252 edit
File 148873539671.png - (388.51KB , 640x480 , 10.png )
"It could've been tampered with, the timestamp." Rudolf pointed out. "You can adjust the settings on any better camera model."

"But that... that was definitely Natsuhi in the footage, wasn't it?" Hideyoshi wondered. It was true. There was no mistaking it, really. Even in that darkness, the woman was Natsuhi.

"And that... was definitely our bedroom..." Krauss pondered. That too, was true. Even in the destruction, the damaged furniture in the room was still in positions that matched positions of the furniture that was in Krauss' and Natsuhi's bedroom. (I should know - I cleaned the place countless times.)

"It's obvious then, isn't it?" Eva interjected. "This is all a scheme of some kind by Natsuhi. The footage is that of a fake murder!"

"What?!" Natushi jumped. "Why on Earth would I do something like that?!"

"Who knows? And really, who cares? There's no other explanation!"

"I'm afraid, my dear sister..." Krauss began, "that I might have to disappoint you there. If this is indeed our bedroom - MY bedroom - then the scenario becomes impossible either way. Do you seriously think I wouldn't have noticed all this complete and utter destruction in that video?"

"It could've been taken at a point where you were away from the island!" Eva stood defiant.

"Hoh. No such point exists. I haven't left this island in the past two years. Pulling something like this behind my back? Absolutely impossible. Beyond impossible, in fact. For God's sake, I went to sleep in that room every single night! Again, I'm not that dense. Something would've been visible, no? Some trace that this footage had been staged?"

"Your memory could just be failing you, Krauss." She wasn't giving in.

"Very well then. Servants! You've cleaned my room countless times. Tell me, during your time in the mansion, did you ever come across something like this?! I very much doubt Natsuhi - and supposedly, the man in the video who helped her stage this - would've been able to simply carry out all that damaged furniture on their own without being noticed by at least one of you, no? And surely they would've had to replace it back with new furniture? And SURELY, they would've needed to bring that replacement furniture to the island in the first place. Well? Tell me. Did you notice anything of the sort?"

Us servants had to admit that we didn't. Krauss smiled confidently.

"...But even then," he continued, "it still makes no sense. No sense at all. Why do this? You of all people would be the first to advocate that my wife lacks the certain... sense of humor for a prank like this. What's the motive, Eva? Even you have to admit, even for a joke, it's a morbid one."

"So... what do you suggest?" Kyrie asked, intrigued. "On one hand, the footage seems to have been unable to be faked. But the alternative is that... it was shot in the future?"

Krauss shrugged. "I can only work with the facts I've been given. And the facts suggest that the idea of my wife being complicit in some sort of scheme - that she willingly took part in faking this footage - is absolute nonsense."

Eva gritted her teeth, unable to form a valid counter.

"I.. was killed... in that footage..." Natsuhi said quietly, yet just loudly enough for us to hear. "Why... was I... killed? Why me?"

Krauss comforted her. "...It won't happen, you hear? I won't let you die. No matter what. I'll stay with you through the entire night, okay?"

Natushi nodded.

And with that - once more - we had little to say to each other.
>> No. 20253 edit
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Part 4: The Mysterious Visitor

"It's strange, all this business." Kumasawa commented. The two of us in the kitchen, preparing a meal for everyone. Nobody was in a mood for sleeping. And given everything, everyone was on their toes.

"You don't say." I chuckled dryly. Somehow even my trusty sense of humor was starting to fail me. The night had gone through peaceful, to a storm, to a literal whirlwind. The weather outside at the time was starting to look like it was heading in a similar direction as well. Due to the storm, we had no means of contacting the mainland until it passed.

"...Hrm. I wonder if all of this is related to that man...." she pondered out loud.

"Man? What man?" I asked.

"Ah." she smiled. "That's right. You weren't on the island when that happened, were you?

Well, you see - a few months ago, the strangest thing happened. One of the maids working at the time - I forget her name - approached me and casually mentioned that Krauss-sama had received a visitor. I found this to be quite strange, given that he'd mentioned nothing to me or Genji. The girl said he'd called himself Nanjo. A man I hadn't heard of. But then again, ho-ho, what do I know when it comes to Krauss-sama's business, eh?

...In any case, the visitor had his face covered. His physique was also hidden by a long trench coat. His hair by a bowler hat of all things. She could tell he was a man, but not much more. Suspicious, but you can't get on this island without some sort of proof that you've been formally invited and handing it over to the captain. And considering it had been the same usual captain that'd brought him over, she saw no reason to doubt his story.

She brought him over to the parlor and told him to wait.

But when she came back with Krauss-sama, the guest was gone! Vanished! Poof!" she gestured dramatically.

"...What did Krauss say to that?"

"They looked around the mansion and the vicinity, but found no sign of the guest. Krauss then scolded the maid, deducing that one of her fellow co-workers had tricked her - dressed up and pretended to be there to visit Krauss to make her out to be a fool. The captain, according to him, was in on it.

And just like that, it was the end of that."

My body stopped moving.

"And you mention this... only NOW?! Damn you, Kumasawa! So then -- could it be that the visitor had actually never left the island?! Could it be that they're the ones who killed...?!"

"Ho-ho. Now, now. Calm down, my dear. I'm afraid that couldn't be further from the truth. Regardless if it was a prank or not, I can assure you, that man is not on this island anymore."

"And how can you be so certain?"

"Because - my dear - I asked the captain myself about it, after the whole mess had ended. He said that the man he had brought over to the island he'd also brought back to shore just two hours after his arrival. The captain also rejected the notion that he was involved in any sort of prank. He said the visitor had provided a letter making it clear as day he had a meeting scheduled with Krauss. Had the family seal on the envelope, you see."

"...So, it wasn't a prank?" I concluded.

"Well, I, at the very least, fail to see the joke." Kumasawa ultimately admitted.
>> No. 20254 edit
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Upon returning to the dining room with the food, it wasn't hard to notice someone - or two people, to be exact - were missing. Krauss and Natsuhi. "They just got up and excused themselves. I think they went to their room. Not the best course of action if you ask me, but..." Battler explained.

"Here's to hoping the same thing doesn't happen to them, eh?" Rudolf chuckled.

"Now, now. Don't be like that." Kyrie scolded him.

The... 'second' dinner itself went by relatively peacefully, all in all. The interesting things really occurred at dessert.

"...We should've known something like this would happen." Rosa at some point said. "This mansion... it's cursed, after all."

"Come on, don't tell me you're gonna buy into that crap." Rudolf chuckled. "Just because of Dad's stories--"

"What stories?" Battler inquired.

"Our dear and late father claimed that he had hired a mad architect to construct this mansion." Rudolf began to explain. "Of course, he didn't really know the man was mad at the time he hired him. That came apparent after the man had murdered his wife and children in cold blood a few short months after finishing his job here. In his delirium, he claimed that he had been driven insane by the mansion he had helped create. That there had been an evil pushing him to create a fortress of despair and agony. To riddle it with secrets so that, in the dead of night, as you slept in your bed, a demon jumped down at you from above and shredded you to little bits!"

"Father brought that story up a lot when we were children..." Rosa said quietly.

"Is there... any truth to it?" I asked.

Kinzo's children exchanged a few glances. And then burst into laughter.

"Of course not!" Eva said. "Well, the part about the architect and what he claimed he'd done was true enough. Crazy bastard. ...However, after Father's death, I pushed Krauss into letting me hire a few architects to look into the mansion. It was to appropriate its value. In the process, though, they ended up ensuring me there were no secret passages to be found. Anywhere."

"And looking at the mansion's floor plans, as I did a bit later after Eva's architects gave them to me, you'll find it's essentially structurally impossible to fit the damn thing anywhere. You just can't do it." Rudolf added. "Those walls within rooms? Not possible to move, either. Their structure just makes it impossible. Trust me - they won't be revealing any sort of passages or secret rooms anytime soon."

"Oh. I see..." I said, slightly embarrassed that they just flat-out laughed at my question.

"No secret passages, eh...?" Battler leaned back in his chair, as if deep in thought.
>> No. 20255 edit
File 148873545446.png - (314.33KB , 640x480 , 13.png )
People had all left the dining room. As Kumasawa, Genji and me had finished putting the last of the dirty plates and silverware on a cart, Battler approached me.

"You still have that key to the VIP room, right?"

I nodded. I hadn't left it out of my sight the entire time. It was in my pocket. And no, I was careful to make sure nobody had tried anything funny to snatch it away from me.

"I'm still curious as to why George had it in the first place. I mean, aren't you? We should go there and take a look."

For once - a good idea, I figured.

For extra protection, I decided to bring Genji along. He didn't seem to mind.

We made our way to the second floor. As we walked down the hallway to the VIP room, we happened to come across Rosa. She was standing several doors away from our destination.

"Oh, hello." she said. "I'm just waiting on Maria to be done in the bathroom. We don't have one in our room, so Kyrie and Rudolf were kind enough to let me use the one in theirs." she pointed to the door she was standing in front of. I peeked inside and noticed neither Rudolf nor Kyrie were actually there. "Oh, they've decided to take a walk outside. Not a great idea - not at all. But hey, who am I to stop them, right?" she chuckled. "In any case, then Maria and I were just gonna go to our room and lock ourselves in. Best chance of making sure nothing happens until morning, right?"

We agreed, but we weren't willing to follow that advice just yet.

We passed by her and approached the door to the VIP room. I checked the lock. Undamaged. And very much locked. I took out the key I'd found on George's corpse and made it the exact opposite.

The room itself was quite dark. Faint moonlight shone in through the window across the door. Battler tried the light switch a couple of times. It didn't work.

"...How odd." Genji said. "The last time I was here, I'd made sure the light was functioning."

"Well, to be fair," I pointed out, "we haven't even been in this room since Kinzo's death."

"Why's that?" Battler asked.

"Krauss-sama's request. We were to lock this room away until further notice. He said there was simply no use for it. There would not be anyone staying over from that point on, was his elaboration."

And the room itself sure looked as if it had no intention of being used. All furniture was covered in white sheets and pushed towards the walls of the room. The exception was a stack of furniture at the very center of the room, also covered in a white sheet.


"...Hey. That sheet..." Battler slowly approached it. "What are these red drops on it? Don't tell me someone here's into polka dots or something?"

"Polka dots?" I said, confused. Taking a better look for myself, I noticed he was correct. There were red dots on the sheet. "...What? No, I was there when we covered this room. I was the one who covered this stack of furniture. It was a normal white sheet. ...Wasn't it, Genji?"

"Indeed it was, Sayo." Genji said, taking a brief look at the strange sheet himself.

For a few short moments, we stood there, somewhat confused.

And then - in an instant - another one appeared.

"Wait... this is... liquid..." Battler slowly said.

"Red... liquid...? Wait, no..." My heart skipped a beat.

We looked at each other. A realization dawning on our faces.

And then, we looked up.
>> No. 20256 edit
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Part 5: The Second Death

Seven knives.

One was lodged into his left hand. The other in his right. One in his left thigh. One under his right kneecap. One in the left side of his neck. One in the lower part of his stomach. And finally - one in his chest.

Ushiromiya Krauss had been impaled onto the ceiling by seven knives.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Drops of blood slowly fell from the bloodied handles of the knives lodged into him.

"Wh-Wh..." Battler couldn't find the words.

"...We should bring him down." Genji acted swiftly.

The three of us climbed onto the sheet-covered furniture and slowly began to pull out the knives. Our clothes were slowly drenched in blood. Not to a terrible degree, as his blood has stopped flowing. But still - far for pleasant.

We set him down on the ground and let Genji examine him.

As he did so, I examined the window, seemingly the only other possible entrance to the room. Locked. And it could've only been done from the inside. Nothing short of a human hand could've done it, either.

It was at this point that the key to the VIP room, which I'd been holding in my hand the entire time, suddenly slipped and fell to the ground. Battler picked it up for me.

"Hey, you okay?" he asked me.

"...Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine." I nodded.

"You mind if I hold onto this?" he added. "Not that I don't trust you, but--"

"It's fine. I... I don't really want to have anything to do with the damn thing, honestly." I shivered. How had the night got out of hand so much and so fast?

"...Krauss-sama's death was instantaneous. The stab to the chest is the one that killed him. All the other ones occurred post-mortem, by the looks of it." Genji announced.

"So, after killing him, the killer took the time to just... put him on the ceiling?" Battler wondered. "By the looks of it... he stood on the furniture at the center and... jabbed each knife in, one by one? Must've been pretty strong, given everything..."

It's true. Jamming a knife through a human so deep that they etch into the wood of the ceiling above? Quite the daunting task.

Like with George, I checked his corpse. I found only a key -- the one to his and Natsuhi's room. Besides the master keys us servants had, it was the only key that could open it.

A weird feeling in my gut began to emerge.

I rushed out into the hallway, Battler and Genji quickly following along. Perhaps they too had a certain premonition as to where this was all leading to.
>> No. 20257 edit
File 148873550266.png - (177.60KB , 640x480 , 15.png )
"...What's going on?" Rosa asked, obviously noticing our pace.

"Krauss is dead." I announced simply. "Someone killed him in the VIP room."

"W-What?! B-But how...? Didn't you have the only key to it?!" Rosa was quite visibly upset.

"I did. And I didn't lose sight of it. Therefore - the killer must've gotten in some other way... Say. How long have you been standing out here?"

"M-Me? Oh, I went here straight after our meal. Maria has actually been having some digestion problems so she's been taking a bit longer at the bathroom so--"

"Did you see anyone pass by here, then? Anyone approach the door?" Battler interjected.

"What? No. I've been the only person here the entire time. Nobody got close to the door. Well, then again -- I seem to remember Eva and Hideyoshi heading upstairs as I was leaving the dining room, so maybe they passed through here on the way to their room, but --"

"What's going on now? For crying out loud, my son is dead, the least you can do is give us some peace and quiet!" A voice rang from the end of the hallway. All four of us turned our heads and looked in its direction to find Eva standing at the door to her room. "...Well?" she demanded. "Cat got your tongues all of a sudden?"

A moment of hesitation on our part.

"...Krauss is dead." Rosa finally said it.

"...What?" Eva went pale in an instant. "Come on, now isn't the time for jokes!"

Battler merely pointed her to the open VIP door.

She rushed over to it, probably realizing it was no joke.

Then, she merely stood. Motionless. An empty glare in her eyes.

She then slowly, but calmly, walked back over to the door to her room. And banged on it. "Hideyoshi! Hideyoshi, get up!" she commanded.

The voice of a drowsy Hideyoshi could've been heard from the other side of the door. "E-Eva...? Where--"

"Now isn't the time for sleeping! Come on, get up! Krauss is dead!"

"W-What?! I-I'll be right out! Give me a moment to get dressed!" he said from beyond the door.

"So, you've been in your room the entire time?" I asked.

Eva nodded. "After dinner, we went back up together. Hideyoshi fell asleep relatively quickly afterwards while I stayed up." She stopped, considering the situation for a moment. "And if you think I snuck out while he was out--!"

"Relax, Eva." Rosa said. "With me all by myself in the hallway, I would've noticed you trying to enter the VIP door. Don't worry. You're good."

"...But come to think of it, shouldn't you have seen, at the very least, Krauss entering the room? Or at least approaching the door?" I wondered.

"Well, even if she had, he wouldn't have been able to enter." Battler said. "The only key to the room was you the entire time, remember?"

He was right. How on Earth had anything managed to happen in the VIP room to begin with...? It should've been sealed off.

"...Genji." Rosa told him. "Go find Kyrie and Rudolf. They... they should probably know about this."

Genji nodded and made his way downstairs.

"...Natsuhi could be in danger." I said. "The key to her and Krauss' room was in Krauss' pocket and--"

"Right! We have to go!" Battler announced, rushing towards the staircase leading up to the third floor.

"Wait up, you idiot! You're going to get yourself killed!" I shouted to him, following in his footsteps. Eva followed us as well, not waiting for Hideyoshi. Rosa stayed behind to wait for Maria.
>> No. 20258 edit
File 148873551944.png - (414.17KB , 640x480 , 16.png )
As we climbed the stairs, a chilling, high-pitched scream rang throughout the mansion. We took it as a sign to hurry the hell up.

"...Shit. Shit, it's locked!" Battler announced, trying to open the door. I confirmed as much myself.

I pulled out the key I found on Krauss and with a click unlocked and swung the door right open.

The room was dark. The darkness was almost... familiar, in a way. The image of the video footage flashed in my mind. Somehow I knew -- somehow I knew what was waiting for us inside.

I found and flipped the light switch.

Perhaps as expected, the room looked as if it had been damaged quite a bit.

And in its center was Natsuhi. Lying on the floor.

>> No. 20259 edit
File 148873553276.png - (379.88KB , 640x480 , 17.png )
Part 6: The Third Death

Battler, Eva and me could do nothing but look at the poor woman. She was very clearly dead. There was no question about it. We heard footsteps from outside the corridor. Hideyoshi appeared.

"Eva! Eva, I saw Krauss' corpse! Are you okay? What on Earth is... going.... on........"


"Oh, no.... No, it can't be!" He exclaimed.

But it was.

Just like in the tape, Natsuhi was dead.

A few short moments later, Kyrie, Rudolf, Genji, Rosa and Maria joined us. While Rosa would've rather not had her child witness a murder scene, she figured it would've been a better choice than leaving her alone in what was essentially becoming a murder mansion.

Genji examined the poor woman. And as we suspected - just like in the tape, she'd been strangled to death.

I looked around the room. Just like in the VIP room, the only window was locked from the inside. And again - it could've only been done by a human being. No question about it.

Just like before - it was a bizarre version of a locked room. The door to the room was locked. The only people that could've opened it were me, Kumasawa, and Genji - given the fact that we had a master key. And... whoever had the actual key to the bedroom. But considering where I'd found it... it could've only been Krauss. Which, again, made no sense...
>> No. 20260 edit
File 14887355472.png - (406.71KB , 640x480 , 18.png )
I looked through drawer's. Natsuhi was under a lock, but I ended up busting it open, having lost my patience for keys. Inside were a bunch of papers.

The first... was a medical report of some kind. Filed by a... Doctor Nanjo. The same name as the stranger that had appeared on Rokkenjima months ago. The patient was none other than Natsuhi herself.

The report itself was hard for me to understand so I gave it to Genji. He only had to glance on it to understand.

"...The mistress was dying." he said simply. "Many years ago, she had been diagnosed with uterine cancer. It had been caught early, and an operation had been preformed. The operation, unfortunately, had left her unable to have children once and for all. It was devastating for Krauss-sama and the mistress equally. Still - they continued on. At the very least, it seemed as if the tumor had been caught on time and treated properly.

However... according to this, the surgery did not solve the problem. The mistress had ended up going to several chemotherapy appointments for years afterwards, according to this report. According to this report, she had managed to successfully treat it for a while, and the cancer had gone into remission for a good number of years. Until recently. When she was thrust into a critical situation.

And it seemed that, due to the lack of funds, doctor Nanjo, her attending physician, could no longer give her treatment.

..:That is all I could gather from the report."

I was stunned. Not once could I have imagined that something like that had been going on with Natsuhi during my time as her maid. Not once did she mention it. Not once did she even give a sign of it. I knew something had happened which had left her unable to bear children, but something like this...?

That day was really, truly turning out to be something else.

"...Hey." Battler said. "There's something else in here." He said, pulling out a piece of paper from the drawer. It had been folded numerous times, the crevices very much visible after unfolding it.

It appeared to be a hand-written letter of some kind.

My dear,

This is it. The big night.

I'm putting everything I've got into this. Don't worry. I'll give you a free life. A good life. One away from the nightmare of this island. Of course, it's a risk. If anyone finds out - if anyone finds it - well, it's all over - obviously. In that moment, I guess my life is over. Both of ours are.

You've said it yourself - Krauss has started to suspect something's up. If he finds out what we've been up to...

Ah, but still. I choose to hope.

I love you.

Good luck.

"Is this... supposed to be a love letter of some kind?" I wondered out loud.

"You think... Natsuhi was having a lover?" Battler asked, looking over my shoulder. "You think he wrote this?"

"Hm, no, not likely." I said. "Look at the edge of the paper." I said, pointing to the spot of interest. The paper itself had a special watermark on it -- one of the one-winged eagle. The family symbol. A paper with this kind of watermark could've only come from this mansion. Every available piece of paper that was in it had it, after all. "...This mark proves that whoever wrote this wrote this hear. And given --" I said, pointing out at a block of similar paper on the desk, "--that there's a bunch of that paper right there, I'd say there's a good chance that Natsuhi herself had written this. For who, I'm not sure, but..."

The room felt silent.

Three of us were dead. Gone in an instant.

"...Well, then, Eva." Rudolf finally spoke. "Guess you're the new family head. Congrats."
>> No. 20261 edit
File 148873556585.png - (446.20KB , 640x480 , 19.png )
Part 8: Reconvene

Positively traumatized, we spent the remainder of the night in the parlor. As we, in retrospect, should've done from the start. Most of us even suppressed the urge to go to the bathroom. We were that sick of taking chances.

Eventually, dawn came around. The storm had calmed and Genji managed to use the phone to make contact with the shore.

"Something, at least..." Eva sighed. Despite becoming the new family head, she didn't look happy. Well - how could she have been? Her son was dead. And whatever she thought about Krauss or Natsuhi - they were still people. And they had all been killed in cold blood.

"Uu... Why was Krauss killed like that...?" Maria's voice was somewhat shaking. She was still just a child, after all. Surprisingly, given everything, I would've expected her to be more devastated over two people dying. I guess she was tougher than I gave her credit for.

"I don't know. But it'll all be okay." Rosa reassured her.

"Uu-Uu... So many wounds..."

"S-Stop thinking about that, Maria! Please!" Rosa told her.

I decided to think things through one more time.

The first murder - George's. In theory, could've done by anyone. But so many questions regarding it remain unsolved. What was George doing? Why did he have the key to the VIP room on him?

The second murder - Krauss. The hallway was watched by Rosa the entire time. The key to the room was on me. The window to the room was locked from the inside. How did Krauss and the killer even get in without being noticed? I would've asked how Rosa hadn't heard anything coming from inside the room, but the VIP room was sound-proof, so no surprise there.

The third murder - Natsuhi. The key to the room she was in was found on Krauss' body. The only other keys were handled by the servants. She was strangled and killed in exactly the same fashion as it was shown on the tape. Roughly around the same time as the time stamp, too...

What on Earth was going on here...?

As I was in deep thought, Battler turned to his parents. "Hey, you two... Where did you guys go after that second meal? Before we found Krauss' body, I mean? You didn't go back to your room, Rosa told me as much."

"Ah, that..." Rudolf began to explain.
>> No. 20262 edit
File 148873557987.png - (186.26KB , 640x480 , 20.png )
"We were treasure hunting, to put it simply." Kyrie said.

"T-Treasure hunting? Are you for real?" Battler's face was showing quite visible disbelief. "Why...? And where'd you get the idea to do it then?!"

"Heh, not the kind of treasure hunting you're imagining, brat." Rudolf took a sip of whiskey he'd poured himself earlier.

"Kyrie had pointed out to me that Krauss' suspicion after Dad's death was strange. He never even ended up giving the poor guy a proper funeral. One of the theories was that Dad wasn't dead to begin with. We were skeptical, but making sure is never bad, right...? I mean - the guy wasn't exactly right in the head after all those years. And Krauss was perfectly needy enough to go along with anything provided it meant he was acknowledged as the family head.

So, we paid a visit to the family tomb. If it were empty, it'd mean that the old geezer was alive. And if he was, that would've given us leverage over Krauss."

"A motherload in its own right." Battler scoffed. "Some 'treasure'..."

"...We found two things." Kyrie continued the story. "Kinzo's body. His, without a doubt. It had decomposed quite severely, but not to the point of being completely unrecognizable."

"Can't believe you just waltzed in and desecrated a grave!" Battler objected, visibly upset.

"That's the thing, though." Rudolf was perfectly calm. "We did not such thing. As soon as we entered the tomb, we found his body just sitting in the corner."

"What? What do you mean...?" It was at this point that I joined the conversation.

"I mean -- he was never given a burial. Think about it, Sayo." Kyrie said to me. "Did you attend any funeral?"

"W-Well, no." I had to admit."Krauss-sama said he wanted to handle it all on his own. He sent us away for that weekend, I believe. I was under the impression that... that he'd invited you to it, though..."

"...I must admit, I have no recollection of such a funeral. Kumasawa and I had been sent away as well." Genji also admitted.

"Are you saying..." Hideyoshi now spoke. "That Krauss had..."

"...Just dumped Dad's body in the tomb? Yep. Lazy bastard." Rudolf shrugged. "But that's how it was with him, right? Always happy to save a penny..."

Kyrie continued. "Honestly, looking at the sight, one of the theories I had was that Krauss had tricked the poor old man into entering the tomb and then locked him inside, letting him starve to death. It was an easy assumption to make, honestly. But -- that's when Genji had come to inform us of Krauss' death. So, while he was there, we had him take a look at Kinzo's corpse for us."

"I can confirm that Master Kinzo had died under natural causes." Genji said.

"And there you have it." declared Kyrie. "As for the second thing we found -- it was the portrait that had once been in the parlor."

"After we'd taken it down," Genji explained, "Krauss-sama had said he would deal with it himself."

"Which means that Krauss must've been the one to put it there." Rudolf said. "Which means that he was well-aware of what had happened to Dad. Which means -- this was all his doing."

"Hrm..." I said, realizing that this could be a potentially key piece of information. And a door that led to the motive of these murders.

"So, you two were together the entire time, just to be clear?" Battler asked the two.

"Well, after seeing the body, I admittedly got a bit queasy and stepped outside of the tomb for a few minutes. Kyrie stayed inside. But given that the tomb has one entrance and that I didn't go anywhere - I can tell you she was in there the entire time. Provided, of course, you believe that I really did stay out front the entire time..." Rudolf smirked.

"So, for a few short minutes, you didn't have an alibi..." Battler concluded.

"Hey, if you want to go blame me, go ahead. You know I'm a sucker for 'Rudolf culprit theories', after all." I had ended up being somewhat worried as to how many nasty situations he had to have been in for that to be a thing.
>> No. 20263 edit
File 148873559783.png - (242.01KB , 640x480 , 21.png )
Part 9: The Final Problem

It was noon.

The police had swarmed the premises by that point and taken the bodies away. At long last, it seemed like the nightmare was over. The detective in charge, detective Nagisa, had taken all our statements.

He eyed Kyrie and Rudolf a bit suspiciously, given some of their alleged ties to the mob.

Eva and Hideyoshi gave him quite a bit of trouble at the very notion that their son's death could've potentially been a suicide. Instead of arguing the obvious fact that the wounds to the body simply didn't allow it, Hideyoshi cited that George would've never dishonored his family in such a way.

Battler was a bit too cocky for the detective's taste. He seemed to get through him as fast as he could.

Maria and Rosa had very little information to give by the point he'd gotten to them. Most of it he'd already heard. Genji and Kumasawa's statements put together by that point had pretty much formed almost all of my statemnet.

I was the last one to go.

"...I see." Thank you. He said, having finished writing down my story.

"What do you think? Who could've done this?" I was direct.

"Well, having taken everyone's statements... there is one particular set of statements that I found... odd. But given the circumstances behind each crime... even with it, I'm honestly having a lot of trouble putting it all together. Even when I take that into account, it seems... well, improbable. Hopefully the search of the mansion will turn up something."

"I hope so too, detective." I said.

"Ah - by the way." he looked in Battler's direction. "You. Miss Sayo here gave you a key to the VIP room, did she not? May we see it?"

"Huh? Oh, sure." Battler said, beginning to search his pockets.

And he searched.

And searched.

And searched.

"...Um." he finally declared. "I, uh, I think I lost it."

"You what?!" I jumped from my chair. "How could you lose it?!"

"I-It must've been when I was running to Natsuhi's room!" he simply said. "I-I'm sorry!"

...It was true. That was the only time he could've lost it. After we'd examined Natsuhi's room, we all went to the parlor. And none of us had left the room since then. Even after the police came and during the interviews - nobody had left it.

"...Oh, well. I'm sure it'll turn up during the search." Nagisa sighed.

"Excuse me." I finally said. "I'm... really feeling drowsy. Could I go to the guesthouse and get some rest? It's... it's been a long night."

Nagisa nodded. "Of course. I'll have a police officer escort you there. If I think of any other questions, I'll make sure to ask you."

And so, I left the parlor, leaving the other people involved in the tragedy in the parlor.
>> No. 20264 edit
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Now - we arrive at the final problem.

When I entered the servants' room, the first thing I did was change. I must've ended up sweating quite a lot through the night. But given the stress, it wasn't that much of a surprise. "That's two uniform changes in one day... you're getting shitty, Sayo." I said to myself.

The detective mentioning the VIP key did, in fact, remind me of something. When I found it on George's body, it should've been in the servants' room.

I checked the key rack, hoping to find some clues.

Instead -- I found the VIP key, hanging in the exact place it was supposed to be from the beginning.

But that was impossible.

Given the aforementioned timeline in which Battler could've lost it, there wasn't anyone that could've brought it back to the guesthouse.

Yet, it was right there. No doubt about it -- that was the key to the VIP room!

"What the hell happened on this damn island...?!"
>> No. 20265 edit
It was a zombie demon witch with a magical time-stopping watch.
>> No. 20266 edit
you didn't even bother reading past the intro post did you
>> No. 20270 edit

Let's start with the strange actions of George, and how they could plausibly relate to the video.

While the video could have been made in a completely different place, at a completely different time, with a Natsuhi look-alike and a room outfitted to look exactly like the master bedroom in dim light, we don't need to go that far.

Someone could have made that video more simply by:

* Breaking some furniture in the VIP room.
* Swapping it with the furniture in the master bedroom
* Recording the video with Natsuhi faking her death
* Swapping the furniture back.
* On the night of the murder, swapping the broken furniture from the VIP room with the intact furniture in the bedroom.

This solution ensures that there is only one set of broken furniture, and none needs to be hidden from the police. Besides, no sounds of furniture breaking or a struggle were heard from upstairs on the night of the killings.

George had the opportunity to swap the furniture, and carried the key to the VIP room on his corpse. Let's hypothesize that he spent that mysterious hour moving furniture.

This squares nicely with the mysterious "Nanjo" who visited the island earlier. George could have been this Nanjo and staged the initial video then. We know that there were two hours to do it.


The video created an impression of the FACT that Natsuhi died, the TIME of death, and PLACE of death. But did George intend for it to be found so early? It was only found at that point because he died!

Let's suppose that video had been found later - after Natsuhi died... or had disappeared. It would have given a very strong impression of being a true account of her murder. And the location of the murder would have made Krause the prime suspect if he had lived.

And if she weren't dead, but no body could be found, because she or George had moved Kinzo's corpse out of its place and stuck her in a sarcophagus/coffin temporarily, with food and water, moving her as needed to avoid the search for her corpse, Krause would have been in deep trouble, and Natsuhi could run away with George.

(Another video could have been used to create the sound of a scream, though it would have been tricky to do that if other people were watching TV!)


Something else that was strange about George's actions on the night of the murder: He was found outside, in the rain, with no umbrella. There were umbrellas right by the front entry. What happened here? Did he not intend to go outside in the rain, or was he forced out by another means?

The window of his room was left open, which is not something one does on a rainy night. And while his injuries appear too extensive for a simple fall, he might been beaten further after landing, hiding the source of his injuries.

Why did he go out the window? Suicide is possible, but it seems more likely that he was carrying out a plan and slipped in the rain. Was he trying to go from one window to another? But why?

He had a key to the VIP room. But to swap furniture, he'd ALSO need a copy of the master bedroom key or a master key if Krause locked the bedroom.

Either he lost that key, or it was stolen from his luggage. We have evidence that someone opened up the envelope in his luggage, too. Either way, he would have needed to open up the master bedroom from the inside... which might have meant trying to get to that window from the outside and either break in or hope that it was unlocked. A risky thing to do in the rain! It worked, and he was able to swap some furniture by a means I'll discuss later. But he also had to escape via the window, too, and that's when he fell.


Another clue that seems important - unless the narration simply missed that George had already unpacked his clothes - is that he apparently came with no change of clothes. This makes sense if he already knew that the meeting would not last. Even then, it would be better to pack fully - unless he had no room? We'll see if that goes anywhere.


Eva thought her husband was having an affair with someone at the mansion. We know that letters from the mansion are written on One-Winged Eagle stationery, so if she intercepted a letter from Natsuhi to George that did not mention either name, she might conclude that SOMEONE on Rokkenjima was having an affair with someone in her family.

Natsuhi x George is a pretty reasonable interpretation of what we've seen so far. And if we bear in mind Eva's suspicions, it might make sense that she went through people's luggage - or found a worrying video.


The VIP key appears to have been returned.

Suppose there's really only one VIP key. If the returner knew that Battler lost it, there's no clear reason to return it. Why not just leave it there for the police to find? Returning it only risks getting caught. Anyone who knew how Krauss's body was discovered, and saw that the door was not broken down, should have KNOWN that Battler, Sayo, or Genji dropped the key, and would have no reason to replace it.

Okay, what if they saw it on the floor and thought that GEORGE had lost it? But this doesn't work for any living suspects either. Besides, we have the detective's assurance that the timeline is incompatible with any of the living suspects returning it, and the police didn't find it.

We know the key Sayo and Battler carried was real and functional. So either we have two keys, or a presumed-dead person returning a key.

Genji confirmed all corpses as dead, but could conceivably have been fooled by a corpse-double. There are a few reasons to believe in a Natsuhi-double, such as the video, but how would the fake Natsuhi corpse have gotten on the island? Could it have been carried around in the rain? From the VIP room? How would its time of death be made to line up? Would the corpse ALSO need to have no uterus? Is George's suitcase THAT big?

It all seems unlikely, even ignoring the need for a Natsuhi twin.

Okay, what about an unknown person X hiding in the tomb or VIP room? What about no, let's not, seriously, let's not go there?

The simplest explanation for the returned key is a duplicate. It was never gone. Natsuhi simply sent the VIP room key to George, who duplicated it and returned it by mail. Since nobody used the VIP room for months, that wouldn't be hard.

This also gives the culprit a good reason to hide the existence of a duplicate key by picking it up and taking it home/hiding it. Battler's taking the key and then dropping it seems suspiciously convenient, but a Battler Culprit Theory doesn't line up well with George's death, I think.


We are told the architect wanted to make some kind of system by which a demon could "drop down from above" on someone in bed. This would be an interesting trick to play on a guest in the VIP room, which is on floor 2, by someone in the master bedroom on floor 3. All it would require is a trapdoor in the floor of some kind, or even a rotating section of floor.

A rotating floor section that becomes a ceiling would be an excellent explanation of Krause's death. It's very, VERY, VERY hard to hold someone onto a wooden ceiling and neatly pin them there with knives. But a wooden floor?

(Also, note that the gameboard explicitly refers to the wooden floor of the master bedroom and the wooden ceiling of the VIP room.)

However, we are also told that there are no secret passages by two people.

Eva says that two architects looked over the house and confirmed no passages anywhere.

Rudolf says that the floor plans leave no place to fit a passage, and that the walls within rooms can't move.

But the problem here is that the floor plans may show the floors separately, not the spaces between them. A trapfloor/ceiling seems like it would take relatively little space to make. Rudolf's leap to a conclusion is understandable, and not a lie.

And what about Eva? If we accept a secret passage of this kind does exist, either the architects missed it, or someone did a really impressive feat of strength, or there was some kind of crazy knife trap, or she's lying.

Because she is the culprit.




Natsuhi had plotted with George to fake her death and run away. But Eva learned that Natsuhi was communicating with someone in her household - perhaps she intercepted a letter with a master bedroom key copy. She saw an opportunity to become the family head. She stole the master key that had been sent to George - perhaps that was the letter she intercepted.

(She may have gone through George's luggage and opened the envelope and watched the video, but it's not vital.)

But when George left to move the furniture to set up the faked murder, he was missing the bedroom key. He used the window to get in and used the secret passage to the room below (trick floor) to help swap the furniture. (How did he lift it? Sheet ropes, perhaps? Equipment from his luggage that he threw out the window ahead of him and was hidden by Eva?) He then tried to escape via the window again... but fell.

Either Eva or Natsuhi, on finding the body, disguised the cause of death by stomping a few times. OR the fall was bumpy enough, over rooftops, to bruise him badly. Either way, Eva finally put the pieces together and blamed Natsuhi for George's death.

Now, how does she kill Natsuhi and Krause, when Krause said he wouldn't separate from Natsuhi?

There's a specific case where they would separate. When Krause and Natsuhi reach the master bedroom, they open it and see the scene from the video. Krause immediately tells Natsuhi NOT to go inside, for obvious reasons. He then steps in to search for the killer, leaving Natsuhi to watch the door.

She goes up towards her room with Hideyoshi, who falls asleep, then comes up the stairs. She sees her chance. Quickly, she strangles Natsuhi to keep her from crying out, then catches Krause with a knife to the chest when he returns towards the door. She places Natsuhi's body in the room, closes and locks the window to hide what happened to George, then pins Krause's corpse down to the trick floor with daggers and switches its position to the ceiling of the room below. There are no gouts of blood - as we saw, there was only a slow drip as the daggers plugged the wounds - so she doesn't have to clean up. She locks the door and slips back into her room unnoticed.

The scream - recorded on a video or possibly even produced by Eva (it "echoed through the mansion", but not from any specific place) - then drew everyone to the scene of Natsuhi's death.

Finally, when she sees the last extra key dropped by Battler, she grabs it, thinking George lost it during his plan, and that this is why he was using the windows. By hiding this duplicate, she can hide George's role.

And there we go - a full theory.

Last edited at 17/03/06(Mon)17:58:43
>> No. 20271 edit
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This... is a pretty cohesive theory. It's hard to fight it by reasoning alone. Hard to believe I'd have to use red this soon, but -- here goes.

To pick up on the least relevant to most relevant parts of theory and work my way from there...

(This is in red, but I know spoiler tags doesn't like those so they're just in bold): The only master keys that exist on the island were in Genji, Sayo and Kumasawa's posessions. And no time during the game did they hand that key over to someone else. In addition, the only other key that can unlock the door to Natsuhi and Krauss' bedroom is the one that was found on Krauss' body.

In other words, Eva can no longer just lock the door from the outside in your theory.

Last edited at 17/03/06(Mon)17:52:01
>> No. 20272 edit
It's less elegant, but if we assume doors can be closed while they are locked (auto-lock), then that works. I mean, isn't there a precedent for an auto-lock in canon?

Eva locked the door from the inside with the door open, stepped out, and closed it. She did not need a master.

Revising the rest of my theory to avoid the problem of the master key, we'll say that Natsuhi simply left her window unlocked for George to climb to. (Krause would have noticed if the door had been left unlocked, and locked it!)
>> No. 20273 edit
File 135343152050.png - (96.60KB , 415x480 , avbb1.png )
Surely, Sayo as a maid would've known and brought up the fact that an auto-lock exists. (And again, given that she's a maid, it's very hard to believe Krauss just installed it without her noticing it or something.)

Last edited at 17/03/06(Mon)17:50:39
>> No. 20274 edit
This really depends on hallway layout, but how about this? Another emendation:

Eva killed Krause and Natsuhi as stated, locked the bedroom door from the inside, then used the passage to escape down into the VIP room below. She sabotaged/broke the lights to make it easier to hide, and then used the cover of the furniture and sheets to lie in wait until the investigators arrived. While the investigators were dealing with the body check, she slipped out and into her bedroom. Since her door was at the end of the hall, this didn't require her to pass Rosa and could be done during a moment's inattention.

All else is as previously stated.

Last edited at 17/03/06(Mon)17:56:03
>> No. 20275 edit
File 148885078345.png - (82.10KB , 415x480 , interruption.png )

You got me (for the most part, but everything beyond this point is kinda semantic bullshit and I don't want that to happen to this gameboard).

Eva's the culprit. Everything that transpired happened mostly like you suggested, with minor differences.

Yes, George and Natsuhi were lovers in this new universe. The plan was to fake her death, use the tape as proof of her death, and have George smuggle her out of the island in his (intentionally empty) suitcase at some point as he was leaving.

The minor differences are:

- George did not die from an accident, but through Eva's actions. She, suspecting Sayo and George were up to something, searched his belongings. The only thing she found, however, was the envelope with the tape. She opened it, and finding the tape, could do nothing but leave it there (since she had no means of viewing it except the TV in the parlor, right in front of everyone, which was the last thing she wanted). George, when excusing himself, went to his room and checked his suitcase, finding the envelope ripped open.

Recall the note found in Natsuhi's room (which had been written and passed on to Natsuhi by George):

I'm putting everything I've got into this. Don't worry. I'll give you a free life. A good life. One away from the nightmare of this island. Of course, it's a risk. If anyone finds out - if anyone finds it - well, it's all over - obviously. In that moment, I guess my life is over. Both of ours are."

George, realizing that the fact someone had even seen the tape in his belongings meant the plan could no longer work, jumped out the window, killing himself. The definition of culprit is not, however, broken - given that her actions did directly cause his death (albeit unintentionally).

- Eva had then later come across George's corpse first and, not wanting him committing suicide bring shame on the family, defiled the body to make it look like it was murder.
- After watching the tape, she put the pieces together.
- After the second meal, Hideyoshi headed to their room, locked the door and fell asleep. (This will be important later.)
- Eva went to confront Natsuhi and Krauss in their bedroom. During the temperamental conversation (that only escalated due to the fact that Krauss seemingly didn't give a damn about George and was quite frankly happy he was dead given the circumstances; and nor was he angry at Natsuhi as Eva had expected him to be) Eva stabbed Krauss in the heart. Before Natushi had a chance to react properly, Eva attacked her. A scuffle occurred, breaking the furniture, but culminating in Eva strangling Natsuhi.
- It was at this point that Eva had a problem. It had been Kraussed that had locked the door behind her as she entered the bedroom. She knew the key was on him - but that wasn't the problem. The problem was the scuffle. She had no idea if anyone had heard it. For all she knew, people were rushing to the bedroom!
- So, she decided to use the knowledge she'd withheld from the rest of her siblings after the architects' examination had wrapped up - a secret revolving floor between the ceiling of the VIP room and Natsuhi and Krauss' bedroom. If only Natsuhi had been found in the bedroom, after all, the police would've probably been mistified about how a tape existed that held her future death, throwing the case into a confusing mess and taking some suspicion off of Eva.
- She stabbed Krauss plenty enough times to make sure he stuck to the ceiling. She did this not out of sadism, but out of pure calculation. If nobody had found the passageway, everyone would've assumed the killer had lifted and impailed Krauss on the ceiling. And given George's death - it would've cemented the idea that the killer has to be someone exceptionally strong. Coupled with the fact that George was her son, the chances of being suspected became next to none.
- So, as the floor rotated, she jumped down into the VIP room. And then -- another problem. Not only was the door locked, but people were coming!
- She hid in the room, behind the sheets. Waited for everyone to leave.
- Then, she peeked out the door. Noticing a moment where everyone was not facing her direction, she leapt for her door. She didn't need to enter it, just stand at the doorframe to make it look like she'd just come out. (Recall, was it not strange that she chose to bang on the door when calling out Hideyoshi instead of just opening the door? Why was this? It was because Hideyoshi had locked the damn room! Recall, also, that detective Nagisa had mentioned a strange thing between the statements -- for Hideyoshi had probably told him Eva did not go in with him after dinner had finished. But Nagisa, without an explanation for the murders, could not pursue it.)
- The VIP key was indeed a duplicate. George and Natsuhi had used the VIP room to film the original video (after all, the room was dark -- all they had to do was replicate the placement of the furniture. And given that the room was soundproof, they could've smashed the shit out of the furniture that had already been there, thus making 100% correlation that much unnecessary.) The recording happened when George made the visit to the island as "Nanjo".
- The scream heard was actually Maria's and pure luck on Eva's part.

That... should cover everything, I think.

Shame it ended up breaking down so fast but oh well.

Last edited at 17/03/06(Mon)17:42:32
>> No. 20276 edit
Kudos to the Witch Side on a fair and challenging board! You had me thinking about fake bodies and twin Natsuhis for a looooong time before I decided to say screw it and assume a duplicate key.
>> No. 20278 edit
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As you can see, Ferdie's speculation/search for the truth got spoiler tagged, along with my responses. In other words, if you want a shot of solving the game yourself - don't be discouraged. Given how quickly it ended, if you're willing to just not peek at the solution, I'll gladly play against anyone interested.
>> No. 20279 edit
File 148886864469.jpg - (54.75KB , 412x322 , Conan_02.jpg )

Alright, I'll take a quick stab at it.

Starting off with pursuing what I believe to be the easiest, but not necessarily the most fun, theory.

The culprit is the one who arrived on the island claiming to be Doctor Nanjo. As he was mentioned prominently in the story, this does not violate the rules. The captain was bribed to say he was taken away, which does not make him an accomplice as this happened a good deal earlier and he would not have known these crimes were planned.

The VIP room was unlocked by the culprit during the time that they searched for him. Given that no one expected it to be unlocked, it has remain unlocked since then whenever the culprit had to leave, allowing the culprit a secure location to hide without needing the VIP room key.

The tape was recorded on the mainland using a stand-in, presumably on the pretext of casting a horror film, to avoid the accomplice rule.

George came upon the culprit, who had snuck into George's room to place the envelope, in the middle of doing so, hence the fact that the envelope was unsealed. They scuffled, and George either died there or was tossed out the window and died on impact.

The culprit locked the door behind them on the way out, went out to the body, and placed the VIP room key in George's pocket for later discovery.

The culprit then hid in the unlocked VIP room. Krauss, having left the group with his wife, had locked her in their room, believing her safe as long as he had the key. Remembering the VIP room key on George, he decided to check. The culprit stabbed him in the heart, then took the key, snuck into their room, and strangled Natsuhi, knocking things about in mirrored disarray before leaving and locking the door behind him.

Returning to the VIP room, he shut and locked the door before Rosa was within sight of it, and proceeded to stick Krauss to the ceiling within the soundproof room after putting the key to his own room back on his corpse. Once that was done, he hid underneath one of the furniture sheets and waited.

Either by using a recording of the scream from the video or, more likely, having something play the scream at the proper timestamp in order to make sure that people left the VIP room, the culprit made their escape unnoticed.

Picking up the VIP room key from where Battler dropped it, he returned it to the servants' quarters in order to sow further confusion.

There was an outsider on the island, and a great deal of the suspicious things were unrelated to the crime.

There you go. Simple, straightforward. Not the most intricate theory I came up with, but I believe it covers all the initial bases.
>> No. 20281 edit
There is a major flaw here.

Recall that the VIP key was in Sayo's possession ever since she found it on George's body up until the point Battler got it. Krauss never had it. And keeping in mind the VIP room was locked when discovering Krauss' corpse - it would've been impossible for the culprit to lock the door in your scenario.

Last edited at 17/03/07(Tue)00:43:23
>> No. 20282 edit
File 14759483818.jpg - (4.79KB , 122x85 , conan determined.jpg )

Ein minuten bitte!

Not at all, I don't think. Unless the door can only be locked on the inside with a key, the culprit did not require a key to lock it. After all, he was in the room, hiding under one of the sheets with the furniture. Hence the extra need for the scream, to guarantee that no extensive search of the room could be performed before he could get out.

Now, if a key is required no matter what side of the door you're on, I'll admit the flaw.

>> No. 20283 edit
File 135360013472.png - (98.71KB , 415x480 , avbb3.png )
A key is required to lock it or unlock it, regardless of what side of the door you are. You can assume this applies to all doors, pretty much.
>> No. 20284 edit

Very well. It could be said that the culprit in this scenario, having stayed hidden in the VIP room for a long time, would have had plenty of time to create a duplicate key. No one checked to see if the VIP room key from the servants' quarters was taken until the one used in the mystery had disappeared. Rather than one key being put back, the true key never left and the duplicate was removed and hidden/destroyed.
>> No. 20285 edit
File 148890858970.png - (104.95KB , 415x480 , bu3_nayamua3.png )
Nothing like planning a murder and brining your trusty hommeade key replicator!!

...But jokes aside. I was considering asking you to give me a motive, but I don't want to mislead you too much here.

So let me just say this:

The culprit is one of the 13 people on the suspect list given at the beginning of the game!

...And since it's been a while and I get vietnam flashbacks from them, just trust me when I tell you there are no name tricks or such at work in that statement. I've done my best to make this mystery as fair as possible.
>> No. 20286 edit
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Ah good. That was the kind of answer I was hoping for. That means it's time to begin the fun ones.

The culprit is Kumasawa.

Krauss and Natsuhi had developed a plan to fake their deaths to get out from under the debt that they had created. It involved faking their deaths using the video that was discovered, and using a secret trap door that Krauss had made for them by the man who came to visit.

George had come across the videotape, and had deduced the plan. George left to get the VIP room key and the videotape to present as evidence but had second thoughts. When everyone split up to look for him, Kumasawa went to his room and found him.

Unbeknownst to George, Kumasawa knew of the plan as well, and had made her own plans. Upon realizing what George was intending, she surprised him and knocked him unconscious when he wasn't ready for it. Then she dumped his body out the window and exited the room, locking the door behind her, unaware that he hadn't.

She knew that Krauss and Natsuhi would try to fake their deaths, so in-between when they left the second dinner and the end of it, Kumasawa went upstairs to their room. They were finishing up switching out the actual furniture with the damaged versions they'd hidden in the VIP room below through the trap door. She stabbed Krauss and strangled Natsuhi, then pinned Krauss to the trap door. The trap door works on a central pivot, so by turning the trap door he ended up on the ceiling of the VIP room. She then exited, locking the door behind her with the master key, before rejoining the staff serving the end of the second dinner.

The scream was provided by her from some other location to make it seem like Natsuhi was just getting murdered.

She picked up the VIP room key where it was dropped and returned it to the spot in the servants' quarters.

The motive was love for Kinzo, and the hatred she felt at Krauss' desecration of him.

We'll see how that sticks. I have a couple more options if need be.
>> No. 20288 edit
File 148896931990.png - (104.79KB , 415x480 , bu3_futekia4.png )

* I can accept the tape as pointing towards Natsuhi wanting to fake her death, but what about Krauss? What was his way out? Why would he have wanted to do it, anyway? You claim he wanted to get out of debt, but if he wanted to peace out of his position he could've simply handed it to Eva and been done with it.
* George's wounds aren't consistent to those someone who just got thrown out of a window. And before you suggest Kumasawa fought with him -- I mean, at the end of the day, she IS an old lady. Hard to imagine she'd just overpower him.
* I was going to bring up Eva and Rudolf specifically mentioning there were no secret passages, but I figure you assume that the man's visit could've happened after their check, which is fair enough. My question is -- why was his behavior so bizarre? Sure, you could claim he didn't want people to know about it. But I imagine a visitor that disappears is far more likely to stick around and spread amongst the servants than a standard visit from Krauss' acquintances, no?
* Given your timeline, as was stated in the story -- there's no reasonable way for Kumasawa to have made it to the guesthouse and put the key back in time to rejoin and stay with the others in the parlor until the police's arrival. (And before you suggest duplicates - I would be very interested in knowing why one exists without the knowledge of the other servants.)

>> No. 20289 edit

Alright, point by point:

*His debt would be his own, so passing the title to Eva wouldn't excuse him of it. His way out would either be her life insurance policy (especially if there is a double indemnity clause for murder) or a separate faked death for him via Method X which was not revealed. However, it could be guessed that it involved hiding in the VIP room, and escaping to an unknown spot. If I had to guess, I would suggest a way out through the tomb. This would be indicated by Kinzo's body. It could have been moved to cLear the path.

* As a potential counter, a possible way to get the wounds. 1. Kumasawa strikes him across the face with a blunt object when he's surprised, knocking him out. Face wound. 2. He's on the floor unconscious, while she kicks him. Kicking bruises and cracked ribs. 3. Dragged to the window, dropped out head first, hits the ground. Split skull, broken arm, broken neck. 4. Glasses tossed out after to clear the crime scene.
That's just how it works in my head, based on the description. If it's not accurate, I'll cede the point.

* Sidenote: the architecture appraisal only covered the mansion, and only ruled out walls and passages. It didn't rule out ceilings, hence the architect's ravings and my making it a trapdoor ceiling/floor.

* If there's a mysterious visitor, it helps give credibility to the idea that Natsuhi was murdered. The documents reference Nanjo as well, hence the visitor saying he was Nanjo.

* I'll admit I forgot that she wouldn't have had time to replace it. An easy enough fix, though. Krauss had one made to allow himself and/or Natsuhi to escape as part of the plan. She simply picked up the duplicate and disposed of it, or is still hiding it since there's no indication she was searched.


Last edited at 17/03/08(Wed)12:38:14
>> No. 20290 edit
File 148902005188.png - (104.68KB , 415x480 , bu3_waraia1s.png )

Sufficient? Please.

It's never enough.

* Krauss' death wouldn't have exactly given him a life insurance policy (given that they'd both be, y'know, officially dead the insurance company wouldn't really be in any hurry to pay it off to anyone). I would also argue there is little to suggest Krauss intended to fake his death. I mean, would it not have been easier to have both him and Natsuhi in the tape at the same time, had that been the case?

* Come to think of it, why would have Kumasawa killed George, anyway? If she knew that he knew that the plan was going to go down, then wouldn't it have been more benificial for her revenge plan for her to let him expose them? And furthermore, I'm not entirely sure how George would've figured everything out from merely the video tape. If I were him, I would've gone immediately down to the others and question what on Earth was going on, no...? How did he reach the conclusion on the VIP key? And what did he mean to do with it, exactly? If he intended to stop the plan, he could've just gone downstairs and said 'guys, so what's up with the tape', no?

* I very much doubt that several architects would've forgotten to mention a revolving trapdoor. And I can't imagine it's something Eva and Rudolf would've just left out because "Battler, you didn't ask me about secret passages in the ceiling huehehehe". Just sayin'.

>> No. 20291 edit
File 14890410483.jpg - (43.13KB , 360x480 , murderousweaponintheservantsroom.jpg )
The culprit drowned every victim by filling up with water the crime scenes using a garden hose.

Apparently on average, it takes around 9 hours to fill a 5,000 gallons pool with a normal garden hose. In practice, a room inside a mansion would take much longer.
So, a 18’ x 36’ Rectangle x 8’ rectangle pool holds around 38,800 gallons of water. Knowing this and making a lot of assumptions, it should be possible to fill a similarly sized room in about 70 hours. Assuming a typical gameboard has around 3.6 victims, my assertion is that as long the culprit had 251 free hours to do whatever they wished, they could have killed every victim using this method.

>> No. 20292 edit
I've never posted here before, so do forgive if I do anything wrong or mess up post format.

The Theory:

George and Natsuhi hatch a plan to fake Natsuhi’s death and escape from the island together to be in love. We can see that George wasn’t planning to stay for long at the mansion, given that he hadn’t brought any clothes with him. Sometime before the murders, George arrives on the island pretending to be Nanjo and together they stage the video, unbeknownst to Krauss. The broken furniture is hidden in the VIP Room, under the sheets.

The day of the murders, George stole the VIP Room key for his plan to exchange the broken furniture hidden there with the furniture in Natsuhi and Krauss’s room. Unfortunately, Krauss locked the door to his room, so George had to go out his own room’s window to get inside. He unlocked the door from the inside and exchanged the furniture. He locked the VIP Room door, went back to Natsuhi’s room and locked it from inside, and attempted to leave by window. This window was later locked by Natsuhi. Then, it turns out George is incredibly clumsy, and he fell and died. Concluding this murder is the culprit, finding George in the rain and stomping on him when everyone had separated to look for him.

Why would they do this? Because they went looking through George’s luggage and found the video at an earlier point in time. And they’re emotional. Rather, an old woman unable to use her head when something obvious is going on.

The culprit is Eva Ushiromiya.

Back to the murders.
Natsuhi and Krauss went upstairs after the meal and back to their room. Krauss freaks out upon seeing the furniture damaged, mimicking the video. Krauss is actually incredibly stupid and believed that locking Natsuhi into the room alone would protect her. This is likely when Natsuhi locked the window.

Now, let’s presume a Room Z. There are enough rooms at the mansion that nobody had to sleep over at the guesthouse, so why not an extra room? Room Z is completely empty and happens to be right above the VIP Room. Room Z also, as Eva was informed when she hired the architects, has a mechanism to switch its floor with the ceiling of the room below it. Something the mad architect installed to simulate a demon appearing from above.

Krauss goes to this Room Z (because where better for a Mysterious Person X to hide, right?) and is promptly murdered by Eva. Eva stuck him into the ground with a bunch of knives she happened to have and stole his key. Then she goes to Natsuhi’s room, unlocks it and, inspired by the video, kills her. Eva leaves and locks the door.

Returning to Room Z, Eva replaced the key and then flipped the switch, turning Room Z’s floor into the VIP Room’s ceiling. She puts in a cassette tape to simulate a scream or screams herself and returns to her room.

Admittedly, I’m completely unclear on how the rooms are actually placed in regards to each other (especially Kyrie’s room, Eva’s room, and the VIP Room with respect to each other).
>> No. 20293 edit
File 135360013472.png - (98.71KB , 415x480 , avbb3.png )

To clarify, the hallway looks like this -- from the stairs, first comes Kyrie's room, a bit further down the VIP room and a little down from there Eva and Hideyoshi's room. The hallway itself ends in a wall, meaning the only way to approach it would be from the stairs, which would include passing by Rosa.

In any case, there's a small, but potentially major problem here.

In your theory, I think it would've taken too much time for Eva to do all of these things. As in, she wouldn't have been able to return to her room without Rosa spotting her as she passed down the hallway.

Also, what about the mystery of the returning VIP key?

>> No. 20294 edit
Eva could've left soon after the conversation on architechture. Plus, Rosa remembers Eva heading upstairs as she was leaving the dining room. I think Eva would only have to pass by Rosa once to get to her room after finishing the crimes? But maybe I'm imagining this wrong.

As for the replaced key... Maybe Eva found it after Battler dropped it while running up the stairs and then she replaced it by pretending to go to the bathroom whilst everybody was gathered in the parlor?

>> No. 20295 edit
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When I talked about Eva and Hideyoshi having a head start over Rosa, it couldn't have been over a minute in total.

Given my description of the hallway from earlier, Eva would've definitely needed to pass by Rosa to get back to her room in your scenario.

And regarding the VIP room key - when I said 'nobody left the parlor until the police came', I mean it. It's a bit unfair to just not mention someone conveniently leaving for the bathroom.

Last edited at 17/03/14(Tue)02:25:30
>> No. 20296 edit
Let's try again.

Eva had more than a minute to carry out her plan, because she didn't come back down the stairs. Hideyoshi goes to their room after dinner, but Eva goes upstairs and carries out her plan where Krauss and Natsuhi die. At some point during this, Rosa starts waiting outside Kyrie's room, but that doesn't matter. Eva finishes up, returns the room key to Krauss's pocket, and flips the switch whilst she's inside Room Z, allowing her to move from Room Z to the VIP Room. She hides here until Sayo and Battler enter (probably amongst some furniture, since everything was covered with sheets) and then slips away into her room next door when they leave. She never had to go past Rosa.

The key was replaced by Eva at some point, because it's actually a duplicate key. Maybe Eva had it made to enable her to carry out her original plan for Natsuhi's death? Maybe it was meant to create another locked room murder?

For the record, I was originally referencing "Most of us even suppressed the urge to go to the bathroom." Most doesn't mean all~

>> No. 20297 edit
File 148956575822.png - (148.15KB , 466x314 , gg.png )
Close enough.

I acknowledge your victory!

(For further clarifications, you can check one of the posts way above with the full solution.)

Last edited at 17/03/15(Wed)01:16:18
>> No. 20298 edit
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Well done, well done. With two people having solved it, I acknowledge defeat.

Looking at the solution...argh! I was so close. Granted, there's only my word for this, but I was almost certain it was Eva. I even had the George-suicide-caused-by-discovery thing figured. I just didn't think Eva could have gotten out of the VIP room without Rosa seeing.

Ah well. Excellently-thought-out mystery. I applaud you.

Last edited at 17/03/16(Thu)20:38:58
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