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20515 No. 20515 edit
First Thread: >>20299

_________________________________________

The end is near.

The moment of truth is at hand.

Will you be able to reclaim yourself?

Will you remember your sins?

What fate awaits you... beyond?

Expand all images
>> No. 20517 edit
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20517
Ange gave Genji the wrong key. The real key was used by Ange to leave the room and lock the door behind her.
>> No. 20518 edit
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20518
>>20517
"Ange gave Genji the key to her room!

...Strange. I also feel like this was suggested at some point. Hmm.

Well, no matter, it's still wrong!"
>> No. 20519 edit
>>20518

Ah. I think I see it.

The testimony Genji gave everyone else, while absolutely true, was not what Kyrie told Battler.
>> No. 20520 edit
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20520
>>20519
"The story Kyrie told to Battler was, in fact, Genji's true testimony of the events."
>> No. 20521 edit
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20521
Genji has DID. An alternate personality was responsible for Ange's disappearance. That's how Ange can disappear from the room without Genji lying. Truth is, he simply wasn't aware of what happened.

Bold claim? Not really. After all, we've been talking for a while, yet voices that don't belong to me keep saying things as if they were me.
>> No. 20522 edit
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20522
The room in Genji's testimony wasn't actually Ange's room.
>> No. 20523 edit
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20523
>>20521
"Genji does not suffer from DID or any sort of mental illness that would cause him to be unable to remember his actions or make any sort of actions which he has no control over."

>>20522
"The room in he testimony was indeed Ange's room!"
>> No. 20524 edit
>>20523

Genji was deceived into thinking Ange entered the room with him. Ange was not in the room when he locked it.
>> No. 20525 edit
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20525
>>20524
"Ange was in the room with Genji when he locked it. (Naturally, this refers to him locking the door after they'd entered the room, as stated in his testimony.)"

Last edited at 17/04/06(Thu)14:49:14
>> No. 20526 edit
>>20525


Ange gave her key to Genji earlier in the game, and it was subsequently taken from him by someone else. It was then used to unlock and lock the door.
>> No. 20527 edit
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20527
>>20526
"After receiving the key from Ange, the key to Ange's room did not leave Genji's posession at any point!"
>> No. 20528 edit
>>20527

Ange's room is shared, such that there are other keys that can open it.
>> No. 20529 edit
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20529
"Noooot quite, but close enough. Besides the master key and the key to Ange's room, there was another key that could unlock the door -- the key Battler found on Kinzo's body! It can open any door in the mansion, but given that it can also open the door to Kinzo's study, it's not considered a master key. The person that used the key was Ange herself -- she got it off of Battler while his clothes were being changed. She then forgot to give it to Genji.

While she was in the room, Ange was something outside that made her rush out of the room. She ended up using Kinzo's key through sheer habit and discovered it could unlock the door. She then left, locking behind her, wanting to keep Genji safe -- to avoid the murderer entering the room and catching Genji off-guard!

With this, all the mysteries are solved!
"

_____________________________________________________

"And so, it's over..." The woman declares with a sigh. All the mysteries have been solved. You now understand the truth. You feel something drip from the top of your head down your cheek. It's...

It's blood.

Your head must've been cracked open the entire time...

You close your eyes. The sense of time drifts from your senses, and it starts to feel as if you're being dragged into another world altogether...
>> No. 20530 edit
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20530
<9>

"Omega Station"


"What the hell happened here?!"

"Jesus, that blood! Are they... are they dead?!"

"...Where is she?"

"Find her! Find her this instant!"


I hear... voices. Where am I...?

I look down at my hands. They're stained with blood. Ah. That's right. That's right. I'm here. I'm right here. Hiding. Shh. Nobody can find me. Hihihi...

Soon... soon, I'll be a witch...!

Grandma's poem... it said so! Kihihihi!

"Darling?! Darling, hang in there!"

...Ah. That's mom. She's screaming. She's probably gonna be mad if I'm caught. But that's okay. It won't matter. I'll be too powerful when that happens. It's worth it. It's all worth it. And besides -- not like it matters, right? I shot daddy, but I'll just use my magic to -- to pull the bullet right out! And then I'll bring him back to life! Hihi! That's right! Yeah! That's what I'll do!

"Dammit, he's losing a lot of blood! Wh... What about Battler?!"

Right. That's right. I'll probably have to help Battler too. I hope he won't be too angry. It's not my fault. It had to be SOMEONE. The poem S A I D S O. Hrm. I think I can still hear him screaming, though. Ngh. C'moooon! It won't be long now! Just lemme have this!

Guys. I'm doing this for all of us!

Come on!

Come ooooon!

"I found her! She's over here!"

...Huh?

Wait, that voice.

Have they found me already...?

"Wait, no!" I shout. "Not yet! Wait! Wait, stop! I'll shoot! I swear I'll shoot! I'm doing this for Beatrice, can't you see? Can't you see?! Stop! Get off me! GET OFF ME I SAID! NO! NO! NOT YET! I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU! I'M TRYING TO--"
>> No. 20531 edit
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20531
"It's been six years now." The doctor tells me.

"I know." I say. I don't like talking about this. "Please, doctor, I... I know, okay? I really do. You don't have to keep telling me. I know what I did was wrong. I... I know my mom doesn't look at me the same. I know there's probably something wrong with me. Yes, I've been taking my medication. No, I haven't had any thoughts of witches or killing people. No, I don't feel like I've been mistreated by the others. I don't feel like the punishment I got at the time was undeserved. No, I don't hold any resenment to the hospital staff. Not even that one nurse anymore. And no, I'm not as social as I used to be. I don't have a lot of friends. Yes, it upsets me that this one event has changed the course of my life - but what the fuck am I supposed to do about it, doctor?!

Just... Just what do you want me to say at this point?"

"...Are you aware Battler is arriving at the conference?"

"Yeah. According to his mom, he doesn't remember anything, though. I... Yeah. I'm nervous, you don't even have to ask. But Ange's been good to me. She's assured me she'd stay with me and make sure nothing happened."

"Do you think that's out of concern for you or Battler?"

"...Why not both? She's a good person."

"Ah. Of course. Now then -- shall we talk about your father?"

"He's busy. That's... that's all there is to it. He's finally gotten to be the head. I'm happy for him, actually. I think he deserves it after... After what I turned out to be, you know? Gramps made the right choice."

"I see..." The doctor jots something down. "You've mentioned earlier that your mother feels neglected by him, though. Are you truly also okay with his behavior?"

"As I've said. Whatever makes him happy. Mom... I mean, she's got a lot going on either way. On one hand me, a shitty daughter and on the other, kind of a shitty husband. And the rest of the family doesn't exactly treat her well either way, so..." I shake my head. "I think our 45 minutes are up."

"Actually, we're--"

"I don't want to talk anymore." I say, getting up. "Please, just give me my perscription so I can go."

"...As you wish, Miss Jessica."
>> No. 20532 edit
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20532
"...Oh, Mistress Jessica!" As I'm getting out of my room, preparing to meet the others down at the harbor and get the conference rolling, Sanon approaches me. The same kind of enthusiasm she can only bring herself to have around me. "I got you something!"

"You... what?" I say, kinda surprised. We're not exactly close.

"Yeah! As I was cleaning one of the unused rooms, I found this!" She says, pulling something from her pocket. It was a necklace. On it was an emblem of a flying horse. "It, um, it reminded me of you! So I wanted you to have it!"

"Oh, erm. Thanks." I say, taking it, but not quite sure what to do with it. I slide it into my pocket and head off to meet the others.

It'll all be okay.

I've got this.

Nothing will happen.

Nothing will go wrong.

Everything will be okay.
>> No. 20533 edit
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20533
Most of the day's going great! I mean... it's a bit awkward around Battler, but he seems like a nice enough guy all around. Ange kept her word. She really... She really is something, that girl. I don't know if I would've handled it if it wasn't for her.

There are a few oddities, sure. Like that strange woman, Erika. Not quite sure what she's doing here. But whatever. Gramps has had stranger people over, I guess.

Things really are going to be oka--

"...Well then. Guess this is the end for Krauss, eh?"

...Huh?

I walked into the mansion hoping to find Battler. As I walk near the parlor, I overhear uncle Rudolf saying something. The door's slightly open, so I take a peek. Only him and Kyrie are inside.

"That Erika woman," he continues, "she's not just anyone. She's Father's lawyer! And to think! To think! Father, of all people, to make a blunder like this! Incredible!"

"It might not have been a blunder. After all, Krauss was never the popular one." Kyrie giggles.

What... are they talking about.

"Wouldn't put it past him, I guess." Rudolf shrugs. "But either way, I still can't believe it. I still can't believe that Krauss was never actually made the family head on paper! All those deals, all those papers he's signed, all those promises and executive positions... and he never had the authority to do any of it! I don't believe it! I just... Pft... I don't believe it! Hahahaha!"

He's laughing.

It... it's not true.

It can't be true... right?

He's just messing around, right..?

Kyrie looks at him. "Eva must be the happiest one in all of this."

"Are you kidding?! She's already gathering up a storm of lawyers to discredit and disown him! She's gonna drag him through the dirt!"

No...

No, it can't be!

It can't be!

I run outside. I need fresh air. It can't be true, right? Right..?! It just can't be! No! No way! No way, no way, no way, no way! Dad's the family head! Kinzo declared as much! It's the truth! They're lying! They probably just overheard me and just wanted to... to mess with me! Yeah! Yeah, that's it! As if... as if that small tiny girl could be Gramps' lawyer!

It's... haha... It's insane! It's absolutely crazy! It's fucking impossible!

"...So, have you found him?" A voice behind me speaks. I jump.

"H-Huh?" I turn around to find Ange standing in front of me.

"Did you find him? Battler? That's why you went out to the mansion, no...?"

Ah... right.

"Um, nope! That guy, I swear! Heh!"

Ange's expression doesn't change. "...It's probably his digestion acting up again."

"M-Must be..."

It can't be true.
>> No. 20534 edit
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20534
...The feeling isn't letting up. I have to know.

I knock on the door to gamps' study. One knock. Two. Nothing. I realize the door itself is actually ajar. In his reliance on the auto-lock, he must've simply thought he'd closed it...

I step inside.

"Hello...?" I ask. No response.

Without much hesitation, I begin searching through the papers on his desk. If there's any indication - any truth in what I heard - it has to be here...!

...Hm?

"What's this...?"

I find a strange piece of paper in one of the drawers. It looks to be a note of some kind. A fairly old one.

I've finally found it. 'The Emerald Pearl'. Never in my wildest dreams could I have a imagined such a treasure. I will make the preparations to ensure it never falls into the wrong hands. However, should you be reading this and you are not me -- then the chances are high that I am dead. If you ARE indeed reading this through perfectly legitimate means, then know that you have been blessed, for I have chosen you to know about this island's greatest secret.

To get to the Pearl, you need to step out into the hallway of the top floor. You would think that the only door there was the door to my room. Well, you would certainly be wrong. After all -- the wall at the end of it can actually be moved. Inside is a small room. Useful for hiding, but that's beside the point. Inside the room is actually a secret switch, revealing the great secret. The one the Baron hid in this very mansion.

Upon pressing it, my study - and all the things in it, along with the ceiling, the floor, and some of the walls, will shift to the side. The door and the windows will remain untouched. And in the place of my study, a new room will emerge. You will notice, dear reader, that it is, in fact, identical to the study you've grown accustomed to before. That's just a trick, you see. A ploy. The Baron had originally constructed these rooms for two purposes - one was for hiding. He had a lot of enemies. Should he have ever found himself in an ambush - he could've simply pressed a switch in the study (yes, there's one in there too), let the rooms shift, and make his enemies believe they've walked into his usual study -- and find nobody there. Because there would be no other entrances or exists and no possible ways to get to it -- the baron would've been safe and undetected. I decided to follow his plan. In fact, it's extremely good that I did.

Because one of the two studies hides the secret of the Emerald Pearl.

The Baron, being a rich and illustrous man, had designed a secret infrastructure below the island. One that would, upon the activation -- cause the island to lift off the ground and fly! No, I am not mad! The controls (or, rather, the single button that turns it on) exist! They're hidden under the desk in the secret study! I've seen the structure myself! It's magnificent! It's beautiful! It's an amazing achievement! Glorious! Simply beautiful!

It's designed to lift up the island cause it to make a rather large trip in the sky. In his journals, he claimed it was a present for his wife. To give her the sky itself. Upon completion, it was automated to simply return to its original position. Unfortun--


I stop reading.

What... the hell... is this...?

Without thinking, I immediately go and activate the switch to change the studies. And just as the letter says, through the open door, I begin to see the walls shift. Another study emerges, as if it'd been there all along. I check the desk. There are commands, just as the note said. Well, just one. A button.

One activating the Emerald Pearl.

Out of curiosity, I press it.

The ground shakes just as a loud flash of thunder roars through the sky. I can't feel anything much afterwards. Is the island... starting to float? Is it activating? I'm not sure...

"Nosing around my office, eh?"

Oh, no.

"G-Grandpa!"

He's standing at the door, looking right at me. He chuckles. "Well. Guess it had to come out eventually. Congratulations, my dear Jessica. You've found the Emerald Pearl. This island's greatest secret."

I didn't feel much cause for celebrations.

"N-Never mind this! Is it true...?! Is... is Dad really not the family head?!" I demand to know.

"...Ah." He sighs. "I'm afraid so. A small error on my part that Erika has come to fix. Nothing to worry about."

"Actually - there is! Because your other children know too, goddammit! They're going to bring their lawyers and tear him apart!"

"...Oh. That's unfortunate." He says, sitting in his chair.

"That's... that's it...? That's all you have to fucking say?!" In my anger, I tear apart the note regarding the Emerald Pearl's true nature. "I don't give a damn about the Pearl, you hear?! This is more important! THIS is about my dad! THIS is your fault!"

"Indeed. And I've tried to fix it. Unfortunately, it would appear my efforts have been in vain. My apologies. It would appear that, just like Achilles, he can always travel half the distance needed, but never reach his goal."

That...

That's all you can say?!

Ruining my father's life and legacy and all his hard work because 'oops butterfingers' and THAT IS ALL YOU CAN BRING YOURSELF TO GODDAMN SAY YOU SON OF A BITCH?!

I... I lose it.

I grab a knife on his table. He reacts quickly, jumping out of his chair. He's ex-military, after all...

"You don't want to do this. Not again, Jessica." He says calmly.

"You... this is all your damn fault... You just... always keep... runing my family... That damn poem... that damn doctor... giving my dad a chance of happiness and then taking it away, burying him... I won't let you! I won't let you, you hear me you bastard?!"

I lunge at him.

He's ex-military.

But in the end, he really is just an old man.

I stab him. And he falls to the floor. I'm on top of him. My hand is still firmly grasping the handle. I can't stop shaking.

What... have I done...?

"Jessica... What's... going on...?"

A voice.

I turn my head.

...And find my father standing at the doorway.
>> No. 20535 edit
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20535
He immediately runs to his room as I try to explain.

"I don't care about your excuses! I'm calling the police! Get away from me! Get away from me, you goddamn monster! I knew it! I knew this was all a mistake! Get away! Get awaaaay!"

"Please, dad, I didn't-- I never wanted this to happen---!"

As I reach the open doorway of his room, I find him pointing a gun at me.

"Remember this...? It's the same one you shot me with. I won't let you do it again. Stay right where you goddamn are...!"

"Please, dad, I... I... I never meant to--!"

"I don't. Care. You killed him, and you'll kill again, as far as I'm concerned. This is the end, you hear? The end! I'm done with you! I--"

He stops. His face goes paler than it already has been.

Silence.

"D-Dad...?"

"Grk...! Kknh...!" Strange noises start coming out of his mouth. He drops the gun and falls to the ground. Blood becomes coming out of his mouth as he starts to cough violently.

"D-Dad? Dad?!" I run over to him, but in just a matter of moments, he stops breathing it. He stops moving, too. "D... Dad....?"

I have no idea what happened.

But... but for some reason... he's dead...

He's dead, and... And...! I...!

I close the door to his room.

And I cry.

I then realize nobody can know things happened this way. I have to cover it up. Especially given that Kinzo's dead. Two murders in one night, and for all I know - I could be the one without an alibi. I can't... I can't make mom go through all of that again.

I can't... I don't want her to look at me the way she did back then!

I run to the kitchen, grab one of the egg timers, a stiletto and some piece of thin string I notice lying around. I've seen the movies. I've read Christie.

It's a risk.

But it's all I've got now.

First, I set up the egg timer and the gun - connecting them with thin piece of string so that when the time's up, the egg timer will shake and cause the trigger to fire. It's sensitive enough for something like that.

I... I should know.

I then... I then take the stiletto and pierce through my father's chest. The exact same place where I'd shot him before, hoping that the damage caused by the previous gunshot would later trick investigators into thinking he really was shot. I have no bullet to leave in him, but...

Oh, wait. Wait, wait, wait. Didn't... didn't someone... tell me that they never... extracted the bullet his heart...?

...That's how it was, then. Stress must've just caused his heart rate to go too fast and...

...

Then that'll serve as my bullet.

I'm sorry. There's no other way...! I have... I have to make it look like someone shot you. Please... please forgive me!

As long as I'm not near the room and find someone to be around when the egg timer goes off, I should be able to appear as if I have an alibi.

I then leave the room and lock the door from the outside. I then use the string I'd prepared to navigate the key to inside the room and leave to go find Ange.
>> No. 20536 edit
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20536
"Th-Then it was you!" mom jumps to her feet during the alibi discussion. "You killed my husband!"

"N-Now wait just a moment!" Battler demands. "Look. When I woke up, someone was in the room with me, okay? It was a woman! She said that... she was saying something about us dying!"

"...An intruder?" Ange suggests.

"A likely story!" Mom isn't letting up easy the pressure, it seems. "There's no chance of there being an extra person on the island! You're the only one without an alibi and now you're trying to cover for yourself! Admit it! You killed him!"

The plan for dad's trick worked like a charm, honestly.

I'm... not entirely sure what Battler was on about a person being in his room, but it doesn't matter in the end. It's all over and done with. I've established my alibi. I'm in the clear.

When the door was broken down, it was a bit of a risk that they would find the gun. Fortunately, as everyone's attention was focused on Rudolf and Battler searching the room for a culprit, I simply took the gun I'd in one of the dark corners of the room. It was small-caliber, so it wasn't that big that anyone would've even noticed. I'll just throw it away at some point.

Yeah. Yeah, that's good, isn't it...?

It's hidden in my pocket. Nobody will ever--

...Wait.

As I instinctively slide my hand into one of my pockets, I realize. The necklace Sanon gave me... it's gone! It can't be! Did I lose it? Could I've lost it at one of the crime scenes...? Oh, shit. Shit, shit, shit! Think! It couldn't have been in dad's room - I know I searched that place top to bottom to make sure everything would work before I left.

Could it have been in Kinzo's study...?

Oh, no. Anywhere but there.

Once they find him, I won't be able to provide a good reason as to why I was in his study. The servants will probably know who was in there through the course of the day or something. And given that I intend to claim I was with Ange pretty much the entire day...

I'll... I'll be a suspect! A pretty suspicious one, too! And -- and what about my fingerprints, as well?! I never wiped the handle of the knife!

I have to go and get rid of it all! Fast!

After everyone scatters, I rush to my room. There's a chance people might consider going to find Kinzo and I can't be seen searching his study with a corpse in the dead-center of the fucking room. I throw on a disguise and start moving towards the study.

...And that's when Battler and Erika see me.

I rush upstairs and quickly hide in the secret room at the end of the hallway. I hear them break down the door. I hear a gasp, shouting and overall sounds of shock.

...Shit.

I can't hear what they're discussing from where I am, either.

I sigh, frustrated.

Either way, I've got no choice but to wait until they leave and slip out. The door's still open and I don't want them spotting me. I've got a feeling I got lucky outrunning Battler back there.

At this point, I notice there's actually something in my pocket. Not the necklace, unfortunately, by the feel of it. It's paper. I pull it out. It's part of the note I found in Kinzo's study earlier. The one about the Emerald Pearl. Well, a part of it.

It still has the part I've yet to read on it...

Before I have a chance to do so, though, I hear Battler and Erika closing the door. The sound of a lock. Erika saying something about duct tape. Aah. They're making it inaccessible!

Well -- well, that's just fine by me!

Because, as they walk away, I realize -- I can just switch the studies! After a few seconds, I simply flip the switch in the hidden room, hiding the room Kinzo was in and replacing it with Kinzo's other room. It looks like the decoy strategy will work out in my advantage.

I just have to hope they didn't find the necklace there...

I leave my hiding place after making sure the coast is clear, and return to my room.

I take what little time I've got before Erika and Battler show up to take a look at the other part of the note:

I pick it up and continue from where I left off.

... It's designed to lift up the island cause it to make a rather large trip in the sky. In his journals, he claimed it was a present for his wife. To give her the sky itself. Upon completion, it was automated to simply return to its original position. Unfortunately, it wasn't simple at all. That particular part doesn't work right. Partly due to age, partly due to flawed design to begin with, I'm afraid. While the island will head back in its original direction, it will not land precisely where Rokkenjima was.

I suspect this is what happened when it came to the Baroness' death. She activated the mechanism during the siege of the mansion, taking her murderers along with her. She then must've simply chosen to jump off the island and find herself in an unknown city. The murderers all died while the island was landing. Their bodies probably never being found due to the inevitable destruction.

This is the truth of the Emerald Pearl.


The Emerald Pearl... will crash?

And kill everyone...?

I start to laugh without realizing it.

"I really... am a villain, then...?"
>> No. 20537 edit
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20537
"I... I don't...!" Battler exclaims, before suddenly losing balance and falling to the ground.

"B-Battler!" Ange screams, rushing over to him. I'm... I'm sorry, Battler. I'm sorry for causing you pain like this. Again. I know you've been hurting a lot because of me. I hope you'll fogive me. I know you'll never have a chance to, but... I still hope that you'll do so in the next life.

I don't want to die, but... I've sealed all of our fates, haven't I...?

This island... is going to crash and kill us all... because of me...

Those were the things that ran through my mind as I watched Battler pass out in the study. Now, as I stand at the edge of Rokkenjima, overlooking a city below us, I lose the last bit of hope that the press of that button had done nothing. We really are in the air. And everything grandpa had said in his note was true.

We're all gonna die.

"Jessica! Jessica, I saw you heading out! It's dangerous out here! Come back to the mansi..." There's somoene behind me. "W-What the hell is this?!" they exclaim. Heh. Guess people keep sneaking up on me today. I turn around. It's Ange. Of course it's Ange. "Are we... floating...?! What... is this...?!"

"...This? This is a curse. This placed is cursed. There's no fucking magic here. It's all bullshit." I begin to giggle. "The Ushiromiya family... we all wear masks. Masks upon masks upon masks... We're all wolves in sheep's clothing. All it ever takes is just something to set us off and we can become the worst of the worst. Absolute monsters, if need be. Do you see it, Ange? Do you see the fate that awaits us? Can you imagine it?"

"...What are you saying, Jessica?"

"I'm saying -- run! Run as fast as you can! You can still make it! Ha... Ahahahaha!" I laugh. It's the only thing I can bring myself to do.

"S-Snap out of it! What's wrong with you?!" she demands, grabbing me by the collar.

"Wrong...? For a Ushiromiya? Nothing. I'm a perfect little monster. Hihihi. A perfect monster. Yeah. Yeah, that's what I am. A monster. A wolf in sheep's clothing? Haven you been listening? Hihihiahahahahahahahaha!"

"Wh-What are you...?"

I grab her by the arms.

"Let me save you, Ange. Let me help you run away from here." I say, and punch her in the face. She's clearly shocked and taken aback. Who wouldn't be? But she won't have a chance to do anything more than that. I grab one of the nearby branches and hit her over the head with it. She doesn't scream. I won't let her scream.

Again.

Again.

And again.

And again.

...And then I stop.

"What... what am I...?"

The branch falls.

"What have I... I...? Ange...? Ange, can... can you...?"

Her skull is cracked open.

"N-No... No, Ange! Ange, wake up! No, no I didn't mean that! I don't know what came over me! Wait! Wait, Ange! Nonono! NO! NO, TURN IT BACK! NO! I DIDN'T MEAN IT, TURN IT BACK! NO! NO, PLEASE, NO! ANGE! ANGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

No response. Just the sound of rain.

What have I become...?

I've killed three people tonight. Hmph. Three! I've killed all of us tonight! I'm a monster, but I... I didn't want to hurt anyone! I didn't! I... what happened back then was a mistake! It was a mistake! I swear! I swear! I swear!

Please...

Please don't let anyone else dieeeeee!
>> No. 20538 edit
File 149152197399.png - (239.02KB , 640x480 , 9.png )
20538
I threw Ange's body over the edge. If... if we're all going to get lost at sea or just have someone come and scavange and rob our corpses... then at least Ange should be found and buried properly. Maybe... maybe they'll even go looking for us when they realize where she was supposed to be. Maybe someone saw the floating island and people are working to get to us by helicopters right now?

...Heh. In this storm?

Who would be even looking up?

...That's right.

This really is the end.

Then, at the very least... I should make sure they don't die hating each other completely.
>> No. 20539 edit
File 149152198760.png - (236.60KB , 640x480 , 10.png )
20539
I awake. It's dark. My head hurts.

What... on Earth happened?

I'm in front of the mansion. I remember.. .crawling out of somewhere.

I feel sick.

My head hurts.

I touch it. There's something sticky on my forehead. It's... it's red. It's on my fingertips. My face hurts too. As I stand up, I realize just how hard it is to stand.

What happened...? The last thing I remember... was the others arriving... and then... And then what...?

I look behind me. The mansion! It's... it's ruined! It's destroyed! It's as if someone blew up a bomb in it! No! No, no way! No way, this is... this is a nightmare of some sort!

Ngh... but this pain... it sure doesn't feel like one from a nightmare...

"...Mom! Dad!" I set into the mansion, desperately trying to search for answers.

...I find mom, buried under some rubble. Dead.

I find Sanon disfigured and half-buried by the ceiling in the parlor.

I find my father in his room, dead. A disgusting trail of blood had flown through his mouth.

As I search through some of the heaps of rubble, I find Genji, Kyrie and Rudolf's corpses, as well.

I eventually also find Erika in the back of the mansion. She must've fallen out of a window, by the looks of it.

In one of the bathrooms, I find aunt Rosa. Her head lodged deep in the sink. The water's overflowing the bathroom. It's as if something had made her lose consciousness, fall into the water, and she... just ended up drowning.

"Th... They're all... They're all....!"
>> No. 20540 edit
File 149152200075.png - (277.36KB , 640x480 , 11.png )
20540
I rush outside.

"I-Is anyone there?! Battler?! Gramps?!" I yell, damanding an answer.

"...No. I checked. You're the only other person here that's alive." Someone says. And I turn. It's a woman I don't recognize. It's dark. "Sorry. It's a shame, but it appears we've both survived to witness this horror show."

"Who is this?!"

"...Does it matter? Haven't you heard? There's a killer going around. They've already killed two people. Most likely three. And given that they probably caused all of this, as well, we should round that up to, like, a dozen or so?"

"Don't fuck with me! Who are you?! Did you do this?!" I scream, demanding an explanation.

"Had nothing to do with this. Scout's honor." the woman laughs.

"Ngh... You... You goddamn..."

"I... goddamn what?" Come closer, Jessica. C'mon. Don't be shy!"

I do as she asks and finally get a better look at her face.

"...Wait. You're--!"
>> No. 20541 edit
File 149152201594.png - (421.66KB , 640x480 , 12.png )
20541
<10>

"Alpha Frequency"


Then.

"...They'll be here any second." he declared. "I'll try to hold them off. You have to go and hide." He said, as we stood in front of the door to his study.

"Why don't you come with me...?" I demand to know. "I won't just leave you behind! They'll... they'll kill you!"

He chuckles. "Yeah. Yeah, they probably will. But if they search the entire mansion and don't find me, they'll suspect I'm up to my tricks. They're already suspecting that the Pearl isn't just any treasure. And if they find the entrance to the secret room - they'll find us. Both of us. And they'll end us, then and there. At least if they kill me, they might be less ambitious in going after you. I'm main target, anyway."

"And so I'm just supposed to do nothing and sit tight until those bastards slaughter you?! I refuse! I won't have it! I won't!"

"You have no other choice." He says firmly. That's how he always was. The legendary Baron. Faced even with death, he decided to laugh in its face. And even as all was bound to lose it all, he tried to cheat. To save me, his wife.

"Of course there's a choice!" I shout angrily. "You can come with me! Or we can run to the woods--"

"They'll find us there."

"You don't KNOW THAT! And you don't know they'll find us if we hide in the secret room! Please! Please! Don't do this!"

"...I won't risk it." he said, simply. "Get in the room. Now."

"You really are the goddamn devil." I declare.

"A devil you married." he chuckles. "And hey. As I always say. There's a reason the hair's red. Hihi."

I slapped him.

"Fuck you!"

"If those are gonna be your last words, it'll be a bit of a shame. Because just to be clear - I've got no intention of changing my mind."

"...I know." I finally said, defeated. "I know. I'm sorry. I... how did it end up like this? We were meant to be happy together..."

"And we were, weren't we? Really, when you get down to it... it's not our fault things ended this way." He chuckled.

"...Please live." I ask him.

"I'll do my best, dear Baroness. I'll do my best."

The last words he ever said to me, before I stepped into the room, closed the door, and let him flip the switch from the outside. He knew me well enough to know I wouldn't do it myself from the inside.
>> No. 20542 edit
File 14915220332.png - (258.03KB , 640x480 , 13.png )
20542
But ultimately, I couldn't take it anymore.

The suspense was killing me.

I couldn't hear a thing.

I had to know... I had to know he was safe.

I decided to activate the Pearl. I knew it wasn't functioning. But I also trusted my husband's assessment of the situation. Chances were we were gonna die anyway. And if we were - then I had to make sure those bastards went down with us.

I moved the secret room into position by using another switch inside the study and headed downstairs.

It...

It didn't take long for me to find him. In the parlor.

Stabbed.

Dead.

Just like that.

I couldn't even bring myself to cry, honestly. It was the exact picture that kept popping into my head as I thought about the horrible fate that awaited him. The man who I had talked to just minutes before - was dead.

Dead.

And for what?

For who...?

What the hell had we ever done to deserve this...?

"...There she is!" someone behind me said. Before I even had a chance to turn around, I felt a blade pierce through my shoulder. I screamed. "...Well, well, well. Looks like you've been a naughty girl, hidin' from us. But it's all over now, eh? Now stand still and--"

Bang.

My husband really was an idiot.

He didn't even try to face them with a gun. He thought they'd have a sense of courtesy or honor towards him. I was no fool.

My attacker fell over, blood pouring out of the bullet wound between his eyes. I didn't even bother to check if he was dead. I got up and made my way back to my hiding place. At the very least, I would give him peace in the afterlife, by him knowing they didn't get me.

"...What that a gunshot?" I heard voices as I made my way upstairs. They were all over the mansion. So many of them. Searching through the rooms. Our wardrobes. Taking our paintings. Our jewellery. Taking off the flooboards to see if maybe we hid the Pearl there. Some were even thinking of taking our chairs, of all things. Upon hearing the gunshot, they stopped and stepped out into the hallways. They saw me running up. And of course, they ran in after me.

When I got to the top floor, I knew my time was more or less up. If nothing else, I wasn't making it back to the secret room without being caught. So, I fled into the secret room at the end of the hallway. Darkness surrounded me.

My breathing was heavy.

The pain of the injury from before finally started to kick in. It was deep one. I was losing blood, fast.

"D-Damn them... Urk... Argh..." I coughed. "Why... did it end like this...? What did I do wrong...? What did HE do wrong...? Why did they just... stab him like that...? He was... always good to them... wasn't he...?" Even at a time like that, I still couldn't accept it.

"So why... did... that happen...? Why am... I... hiding... in a place like this now? Why... am I going to die here?"

I could hear their voices in the distance. They were closing in.

"Find the Baroness! We'll bury her next to him! Find her, dammit! If you don't, then burn the entire damn mansion to the ground! Hell - burn it anyway! Leave nothing behind!"

In the pain, I find myself letting out a quiet wimper. "This was... not the future... you'd promised me... Ack... Dammit... Haaa... I'm bleeding... Hah... You told me... That this island... That we would always be on this island..."

"Hey! I hear something from over there!" Someone from outside declared. My blood froze. Only for a moment, though.

In the end - I didn't care anymore.

"So... Even though you're gone... Even though I'm about to die... I won't let you... Walk out on that promise... You got it? No matter what... I'll... We'll..."

The door to my hiding place began to open ever so slowly. I started to make out silhouettes of those thugs.

"...We'll meet again."

No matter what. Even if I were to die there...

I would find a way.

"There you a--"

My attacker found himself surprised, facing the barrel of my gun.

From the bottom of my soul, I screamed:

"DiiiiieeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YOU FUCKING BASTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARDS!"

Bang.
>> No. 20543 edit
File 149152204710.png - (316.70KB , 640x480 , 14.png )
20543
My clothes were covered in blood.

Part of it mine. They stabbed me. They shot me a few times.

But the other part was theirs.

And in the end, while it was hard to move, while every inch of my body hurt, while I could barely see or walk straight --

In the end, I was alive.

I was the last person alive.

I was walking to the edge of the island. The rain made the pain a bit easier to get through. The island at that point must've been high up in the sky, I figured.

He had done it all for my sake. For me to see it.

Therefore... therefore, I wanted to fulfil that dream as well, while I was still alive. He'd done so much for me. He'd meant so much to me.

At the very least, I...

...

I made it to the edge of the island.

And I saw the lights of the city below. I saw the distant mountains. I felt the cold breeze. I saw the clouds. They were so close to me. I could touch them.

I smiled.

And then -- I jumped.

"Until next time, then."
>> No. 20544 edit
File 149152206172.png - (449.07KB , 640x480 , 15.png )
20544
Now.

"...I still can't believe he tried to grab our boobs." Sanon declared, sighing. "What a perv!"

"Can't get much worse than that." I followed her sigh and agreed.

Certainly, he wasn't quite what I imagined him to be. The man who looked exactly like the Baron. Nowhere near as dignified, but... But deep down, I knew it was him. And had to have been him. What were the chances? That I, a mere maid, would come to this island and regain all those memories of my past life by looking through all those old files? And that someone who looked exactly like the Baron would be one of the members of the family who owned all of that...?

It wasn't a coincidence. It couldn't have been.

I wasn't crazy.

I wasn't crazy...!

I am the Baroness! It all added up! It's what my life had been leading up to! I wasn't just anyone! I wasn't just a maid! This -- all of this -- was just merely a way of testing me!

It... it made sense. It all added up. For God's sake, I looked just like the woman in the photograph!

I had a scar on my shoulder ever since I was a child! They found that a blade her passed through the Baroness' shoulder on the night of her death! It's a remnant! A sign!

And -- and I remembered so many things! They... they couldn't have all just been fake! And that person... for better or for worse, he was too similar to the person that was once my husband. It was him. It had to have been him...!

...But still. I had to be sure.

"Excuse me." someone said, walking into the kitchen. It was that guest, Erika. "...I seem to have found a cockroach in my room. I thought of nobody else to turn to but you."

Sanon jumped, given that she was in charge of cleaning the girl's room. "I-I'm so sorry! I don't know how it--"

Erika chuckled. "Relax. I've squashed it into a million pieces. The problem's solved. Besides, not like I can expect you to have dealt with an infestation of the damn things, if there is one. At ease, soldier."

Sanon did as she was asked and regained her composure.

"...Besides." Erika shrugged. "I'm willing to look past it, given that you ended up being groped by that pervert."

"...Ugh. We were just talking about that." Sanon said, and immediately realized that was a thing she was not exactly supposed to do.

Erika noticed the frantic expression emerging on Sanon's face once again and chuckled. "Relax, as I've said. It's all good between us. Really, it's a shame. Being forced to serve a rich spoiled brat like that really must be annoying. If I were you, I'd rebel, but... what can you do, right? A job's a job."

It was at that point that I realized I could establish a way to check if Battler really was the Baron.

"...Say." I spoke up. "What do you say we play a little prank on him?"
>> No. 20545 edit
File 14915220777.png - (309.87KB , 640x480 , 16.png )
20545
The plan was simple enough. I dressed up as the woman in the painting - Beatrice. I kinda looked like her, too, if you started at the portrait enough. Maybe Beatrice was another reincarnation of me...? Bah, I shouldn't overthink it, I told myself.

I would sneak into Battler's room, check if he was the Baron, and then after leaving, would change back and meet up with Erika and Sanon, who would vouch and say I was there with them the entire night.

As I've said. Simple.

I snuck into his room. He was the only person in the mansion sleeping. Someone had mentioned to me he had a weak constitution, but I wasn't exactly sure why. On a hunch, though, before I would talk to him, I decided to check his body.

If I had a scar...then, surely, he would as well.

And to my endless joy -- he did.

Right there. On his chest. The exact same spot the Baron was stabbed through.

It was... really him.

I buttoned up his shirt. I felt weak. To calm myself, I sat down in a chair in the corner of the room.

It was him. It couldn't have been a coincidence! It couldn't have!

"...Ngh... Wh..."

I froze. He was waking up! And my body was refusing to move!

...He spotted me almost immediately.

"...Who's there?" he asked.

And I, being the idiot that I am, said the first thing that came to mind. I was dressed like a witch. Therefore--

"I'm the witch of the island." I said.

"Right. And I'm a tanned fuckboy. We can all dream." he said, slowly rising up. "Who are you?"

"I told you. The witch of the island." I insisted. I then giggled because of the 'tanned fuckboy' line. My sense of humor was always pretty basic.

"What do you want, oh witch?" he wondered.

I wasn't sure myself. The best course of action was perhaps to just be honest?

"I've come to see if you've remembered anything of your past life, of course." Another giggle. This one was fake. "To see if you remember me. If there's still hope."

That's right. Just because he had the body of the Baron didn't mean he had his memories. And without the memories, who was to say he was truly him?

"Past life? What are you talking about?" He was confused. Not a great sign for me.

I decided to try and jog his memory. "You have scar on your chest. A scar whose shape fits a blade of a knife penetrating your chest and lungs." An awkward sentence, but a specific one for a reason. I had to make sure it wasn't just some unrelated injury. That it wasn't a coincidence. I did my best to stay calm.


"...How do you know that? Who are you?"

He hadn't denied it was a knife! Score!

"Perhaps I merely took a peek while you were asleep. Or perhaps you have that scar for a reason. Who knows? Either way, it doesn't really matter. It's clear you don't remember." I sighed. "And, given how it's all turned out the last time, chances are it'll all just end in tragedy again."

That was true. I'd read somewhere that people who are reincarnated together are forced to relive their fate. Obviously, that didn't have to be the case, but...

"...What?" he said, visibly confounded.

"Do you need me to spell it out? You and me... We'll probably be... killed tonight." I said, half-seriously. Might as well have, right?

And then it happened.

A loud noise echoed through the mansion.

A gunshot. No doubt about it.

Not gonna lie - I almost shit myself.

Battler jumped to his feet and ran out of the room with merely a "What the hell was that?!"

After he was gone, I finally regained control of my body and realized I had to go as well. If I was caught wearing all this, and if what I'd heard was a gunshot -- things wouldn't be looking bright for me.

I changed back into my uniform and met up with Erika and Sanon, who were running up the stairs. The gunshot, it seemed, had some from the floor above.

"...What was that? What happened?" Sanon asked.

"I-I don't know! I was in his room and then I heard it! He ran outside, I-- I don't even!" I tried to explain myself, but Erika cut me off.

"There's no time. Let's just go upstairs. For the time being, if anyone asks, we were all together. If it turns out you did it or something - tough shit, we'll come clean."

"B--"

"Let's just go!" Sanon concluded, and we ran off upstairs.
>> No. 20546 edit
File 149152209154.png - (437.41KB , 640x480 , 17.png )
20546
I remember Erika glancing at me while everyone was giving their alibis. Both her and Sanon opted to not say anything. In the end, they understood, I guess. Battler had claimed someone was in the room with him. That could've only been me. At the time of the gunshot, I was inside of the room with him. Therefore, we'd actually given each other alibis. Hence, it was impossible for me to be the culprit, as well. If Battler was lying, then there was a chance some of the others were lying as well. The smartest move for them was to just say nothing, then. Revealing doubts in my alibi would automatically reveal doubts in theirs, whether they liked it or not.

After we all scattered about, Natsuhi of all people approached me.

"Asune... there's something I wanted to talk to you about."

I was pretty taken aback. Me? Of all people?

"Y-Yes, mistress Natsuhi?" Had someone told her about my 'prank', after all...?

"I found this in your quarters." she said, pulling out an old photograph. It was one of the Baron. The only one remaining, as far as I knew. I discovered it while searching the library and some of Kinzo's files. It's how I discovered about the true nature of the Emerald Pearl in the process. I hid it my room, certain nobody would find it. And yet, Natsuhi was holding it. Had she discovered my secret...? Unlikely.

But given that next to the Baron was his wife - a person with striking resemblance to me - I figured she at least had some questions.

"How do you explain this?" she asked me.

"I'm sorry, I don't understand. Explain what...? It's a photograph. I found it while I was cleaning. I thought it was a neat coincidence that I looked like the person in the photograph. I guess master Battler also resembles the man, but... I'm afraid I don't see any cause for commotion. You're free to keep it, honestly." I said, maintaining my composure.

Natsuhi, on the other hand, quite clearly under duress, instead handed the photograph back to me.

"No. If you want it, just take it! I don't... I don't want to think about the past." She grabbed her head, visibly tired. "I... I don't want to think about... that. I don't want to think about the horrible things that have happened in this house..."

I said nothing.

"...Asune." she asked after a longer period of silence. "Tell me. Do you think... do you think history can repeat itself?"

"In what way?" My heart skipped a beat, I won't lie.

"... This house has been stained with blood. Through time. Stabbings and shootings... This is the third time, it's..." She couldn't find the words. "Do you think... tragedies can repeat themselves?"

I stopped and thought about it.

Then, I shrugged.

"Under the right circumstances, anything is possible, right?"
>> No. 20547 edit
File 149152210597.png - (352.43KB , 640x480 , 18.png )
20547
Unfortunately, as it turned out, THESE were the right circumstances.

I finally realized it after the scuffle in the parlor, when Natsuhi had almost shot Battler.

History... it can repeat itself.

And somehow, I just knew.

I stepped outside and made my way to the edge of the island, just to be certain.

Well. I wasn't wrong, I'll tell you that much.

Someone had activated the pearl.

We were all floating in mid-air.

And we were all going to die.
>> No. 20548 edit
File 149152212622.png - (335.17KB , 640x480 , 19.png )
20548
...No. Not like this. Not yet.

Kinzo got control of Rokkenjima during the second world war. During that time, it was used as a military base. Which meant that there must've been a bunker of some sort to hide in. Well, of course there was.

I'd found one years ago, after all.

And while the mansion probably wouldn't withstand the impact, a steel bunker filled with food probably could.

It had to.

And there was only one person I wanted to save. The rest could've all been left to rot, as far as I was concerned. Especially if there was a killer among them.

I switched my clothes once more. It was only appropriate. To look like a witch of the island. If I was the Baroness, I was something of a ghost haunting it after all. I'd thought of numerous ways to get into contact with Battler and get him to come with me, but it seemed fate had smiled upon me, for once.

He was just sitting there, in the garden. Looking pathetic, honestly.

"You'll catch a cold in this weather." I said, approaching him.

He wasted no time getting to the point. "...Who are you?"

"The witch of Rokkenjima." How many times would I have to tell him?

"You said that before. And I'm still not buying into your shit." Quite a bit, it seemed. Something in my heart stung. He really just wasn't remembering, was he...?

"Then who do you think I am?" I finally asked.

"By logic alone," he began, "you can't be one of the 13 people."

"Oh? And if I told you an outside doesn't exist?" I giggled, but really - fuck me if I knew. I didn't care. Really, I was just waitng--

"Then I say... Then I say... you're full of.... Aw, shit."

--that. Him passing out. He was already looking quite a bit sickly. It was only a matter of time. Falling unconscious must've really done a number of him. Thinking about it now, it could've very well been the altitude getting to him.

Either way, I was prepared. Having brought a wheelchair along with me, I sat him down and began rolling him away. Or, really, high-tailing it to the bunker. I didn't know how much time I had left.

I also tore up and put a scrap of the old photograph in his hand. Perhaps, later on, it would help jog his memory later, I thought.
>> No. 20549 edit
File 149152213947.png - (381.41KB , 640x480 , 20.png )
20549
But it was all for nothing.

"I'm not buying into any of this bullshit!" he declared angrily - his voice echoing off the walls of the bunker. I'd saved him... and this was how he'd treated me. At the times he'd woken up while I was wheeling him away, I thought his lack of response to my reasoning as to why he should leave everything behind meant he saw it my way. Clearly, he did not. "Reincarnation? Me being the baron? Come on! My scar was just an accident! I told you, Asune! This photograph? It doesn't prove a damn thing, you hear? Not a damn thing...!"

I could only stand and watch.

"Earlier... when I woke up... there was a rumble. What happened then...?"

"The island must've collapsed into the sea. I imagine from the impact alone, everyone must've died. We were here underground when it happened so--"

"Stop lying to me! You really think I'm just going to believe this whole 'flying island' thing?!"

I shrugged. "...It's the truth."

"You killed everyone! You must've! ...That's right. I've figured it out now!" he declared. "First, you must've killed Krauss with a silencer or something! Then, you made your way out of the room but left behind some device to produce a sound! Then, you went to my room and talked to me! I was your back-up! In case Erika and Sanon - your cohorts - ratted you out - I would've had no choice but to agree you had no alibi for the gunshot...! You then must've planted the key or something after the door was broken down!"

"What...?" I said, unamused. "By that logic, you're just as much of a possible culprit. Just as Erika said. This was possible for you as well. You could've put a recording and then went to your room, pretending to be sleeping. You probably didn't imagine everyone else having an alibi themselves and just wanted to give the brief appearance that you weren't anywhere close to the scene when the gunshot went off. It's through sheer luck alone I happened to give you an alibi.

See? I can play that game, too. That doesn't--"

"Shut uuuuup!" he roared. "You then killed Kinzo! Actually - no - he was probably killed before anyone else, wasn't he?! When Erika and I saw you, you were probably going back to the scene to get rid of some evidence you'd left behind!" he pulled out the necklace I'd found and given to Sanon earlier that day. "This...! This is probably yours, isn't it?!"

"What? No, that's Sanon's, I--!"

"A likely story! Anyway, you got into the study using Gramps' key! You then put it on his body and hid in the room. I don't know how, but Erika and I must've just missed you. You then removed the door from its hinges from the inside, took gramps' body out, and then placed the door back on its hinges again from the outside, without distrubing the seals...!"

"No! No, that's crazy, I--!"

"Shut uuuuuup! Ange's disappearance! We've already established Sanon can't be trusted. With this necklace," he said, shaking it in the air once more, "we can confirm that much, if I were to trust you! Therefore - it's simple! You just left the room at some point, unlocked the door to Ange, drugger her, got her out and then later killed her! She's probably out there in the woods somewhere, isn't she? ISN'T SHE?!"

"I HAVEN'T KILLED ANYONE...!" I demanded. Why wasn't he listening...? I'd saved his life, why is he treating me like this...?! I... I loved him! He was my husband...!

"Fuck you! Fuck this game of youuuurs!" he declared, finally storming out. I tried to follow him, but he was ultimately too fast. He disappeared into the darkness before I had to chance to tell him he was rushing towards the secret harbor on the island, instead of the mansion, where he'd probably intended to go.

"So... that's the end of that... huh?"

Rejected by the one person I loved.

"I guess it's fitting." I sighed.

"At least... history didn't repeat itself, eh?"
>> No. 20550 edit
File 14915221522.png - (291.60KB , 640x480 , 21.png )
20550
I made my way back to the mansion. There was only one boat in the harbor and there was no way Battler was going to let me on-board anytime soon. The chance of rescue was unlikely. Who knows where Rokkenjima had landed, after the mechanism had been unused all those years...?

As I was walking through the garden, I noticed a figure stumbling outside the destroyed mansion.

A survivor...?

"I-Is anyone there?! Battler?! Gramps?!" They damanded to know. It didn't take me long to realize it was Jessica.

"...No. I checked." I said, moving closer to her. "You're the only other person here that's alive." She turns on her heel. I realize she's hurt. A gash on her forehead. "Sorry. It's a shame, but it appears we've both survived to witness this horror show."

"Who is this?!" she wanted to know.

"...Does it matter? Haven't you heard? There's a killer going around. They've already killed two people. Most likely three. And given that they probably caused all of this, as well, we should round that up to, like, a dozen or so?"

"Don't fuck with me! Who are you?! Did you do this?!" She screamed. But I had no explanation for her.

"Had nothing to do with this. Scout's honor." I laugh. God, I was so tired.

"Ngh... You... You goddamn..."

"I... goddamn what?" Come closer, Jessica. C'mon. Don't be shy!"

She does as I ask.

"...Wait. You're--!"

"...Asune. Or perhaps, Beatrice...? Or was it the Baroness...? I forget! Hihihihi!" I laugh, unable to contain any of it anymore.

Who gives a shit at this point, honestly?

"You... you killed everyone!" she declared.

"Oh." I sighed. "Not you, too..."


"What have you done...?" she exclaimed. "Mom... Dad... Grandpa... aunt Rosa... the servants... you killed them all...! What the hell did we ever do to you...?!"

"Nothing. Hence, why I haven't killed anyone...?" I said, not really caring.

"Enough!" she screamed. "Enough of the lies!"

"Jessica, you've got a head injury there. Shouldn't you--?"

"Shut uuuuuup!" she roared.

"Can't you Ushiromiyas do anything besides yelling like animals?!" I said, lifting up my cane. "Stand back, Jessica! I don't want to hurt you, but you're eyeing me the wrong way here!"

"Dieeee!" she screamed, lunging at me and then--

Dropping onto the ground right before my feet.

"J... Jessica...?"

I poked her with my cane.

"H-Hey, wake up now. Th-This isn't funny..."

I kneeled down beside her. I checked her pulse. Nothing...!

"J-Jessica! Jessica, wake up! Hey! Hey, wake up, you!"

...Nothing. She wasn't responding.

I tried shaking her awake.

Nothing.

Blood had stopped pouring from her forehead after a while.

And I knew she was gone.

"...Damn it." I said, pressing my back against the mansion walls. "...Heh. I guess this is the end I get. A stupid, unfitting end. How perfect. How appropriate. Ha... Hahahaha... Hahahaha...!

You hear that, murderer?!

If you're still alive, come get me! Come get me, you motherfucker! I'm right here! What are you waiting for?! Huh?!"

...No response.

Just the sound of rain.

I sighed and picked up Jessica's body.

I then went back to the mansion, to pay my respects for the dead.
>> No. 20551 edit
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<11>

"Resonance"


"...And that's the end of that!" the witch declared, before nonchalantly flipping the table standing between us over. The pieces fell and scattered across the ground, as if they'd been nothing.

"Wh-What the hell'd you that for?!" I jumped, still pretty woozy over the whole ordeal.

"...Why? Because the game's over. You've won." she chuckled. "Congratulations... Ushiromiya Battler. You've managed to escape the island. There are none that can rival you, hihi."

"I don't understand. What... was the point of this game? Ngh, what was the point of any of this?! How'd I even get here? The last thing I remember was--"

"--Running off into the darkness. Yeah, yeah." she sighed. "Well, as the story goes, you got onto a boat and then made your way off into the vast sea until you reached the mainland and lived happily ever after. A fitting conclusion wouldn't you say?"

"No. I wouldn't. If what I saw there was true, then... Then my family's..."

"Shh. It's just a game." she smiled. "Once you leave this place, anything could be your reality."

I stood, unsure of what to say. "Where... am I, even?"

"This? All this is just a dream." she chuckled. "When you leave, you'll come to. And you'll wake up in the world you belong in." She paused. "...A world you deserve to live in."

...

I said nothing.

"The door is right behind me. Off you go. Quick now, before I change my mind. You were a nice visitor, but the game's over. I'm bored. I'll find something else to entertain me. Chop chop!" She said, hitting my back, practically pushing me to leave the room.
>> No. 20552 edit
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20552
"...I wasn't the only one here, was I?"

"Excuse me?" the woman stopped.

"...Back then. Before you started to reveal the turth. I saw what was going on down there in the gameboard. Jessica was fighting your piece. Why...?"

"O-Oh, that's, uhm... Well. Some pieces just act on their own from time to time and--"

"--Don't fuck with me." I turned to face her. "She was right here, wasn't she? You had her play her game. Why?"

No response.

My head started to hurt.

I was... remembering things.

"This... this isn't the first game that was played, isn't it? ...That's right. There were... so many."

"Stop! Stop thinking that!" she ordered me, but I wasn't listening.

"...This game... This gameboard... there must've been a reason it was created. There must've been a reason it's the way it was... I just need to think about it... I just need to turn it... all around..."

"Enough! Get out! Get out and be free, you idiot! Get out and--!"

"Why was George's entire branch of the family missing?
Why was Maria not present?
Where were Shannon and Kanon?
Why were the servants completely reshuffeled anyway?
Why the story of the Baron and the Baroness?
Why have Asune's plotline implemented to begin with?
Why make Jessica the culprit?
Why have her play your game?
Why make me the detective?
Why was Ange older than me?
Why that talk of history repeating itself both at the beginning and the end?
Why am I weak and have my body damaged?
Why is the island just left abandoned instead of blown up like always...?
"

I asked her head-on.

"...Tch. How... did you remember all of it so fast...? I was sure... I'd blocked you off... from the rest of him..."

"Dunno. But... it's definitely there. This knowledge. This... feeling that something's wrong. And different. And not in a good way. Who are you? Tell me...!"

"...I told you:" she shrugged. "I'm a witch."

"...You're Beatrice." I decided.

"So you say."

"So I know! There's no mistaking it! The face, the voice, the demeanor, the references to the past! There's no fooling me! You're Beatrice!"

"...Whatever. What's your point here? Just go and--"

"--This game. There's more to it than you've let on."

"Shut up." she said, bitterly. "Just shut up!"

"...No.

Jessica was the culprit, and you had her play the game. Therefore, your objective was for her to solve her own crimes. However, even though she remembered everything in the end, you've thrown her away. Hell - you'd thrown her away even before then! Therefore - I can only conclude that the objective wasn't to torture her with the realization she was the culprit! It was something else! Her being the culprit was just a small part of it!

Your objective, therefore, must've been for her to play the game! Nothing less - nothing more! There was a stake in it beside her memory that you refused to clarify! At a certain point, your patience had run out. You weren't satisfied with her performance. I'm not sure what part of it was it, but somewhere down the line you decided she wasn't a worthy opponent! It was at that point you threw her onto the gameboard to die and brought me here, declaring me a winner of a game I never even really took part!


"Th-Throwing blue... now, of all times...!"

"Let's continue with this line of reasoning! If Jessica played the game, and I played the game -- that means the possibility of more people playing the game before us is open! An unspecified number of players went through this hell, for whatever reason! I can only assume that the reason for this is that you were going through candidates for... something.

Given that Maria and George have been wiped completely from the board, I'm going to assume they were the players. Given the previous games, I can't imagine you bringing in Eva or Hideyoshi or Kumasawa or anyone like that to a game like this!
"

"I could just not be the Beatrice you've created for yourself from observing all those games--"

"--Oh? Observing? Strange. I was under the impression Ushiromiya Battler directly participated in those games!"

".....Ku..."

"...I see. That's how it is. A different reality. An artificial reality, even. Different characters. Different personalities. Different ages. Different everything. So why should I be the exception. I'm not the real Ushiromiya Battler, but a cheap fake! I'm still a piece of the gameboard you're now shoving off into the real world!"

"Sh-Shut up, I say!"

"Stealing the lines of your own piece, huh? Well, whatever. Now then. Let's continue. If I am a piece, that means I as a person never truly existed in the real world. If I am a piece, you made me. If you made me, you have more power of me. If you have more power of me, you're able to do even more things than I am. That would include leaving this place. So... why haven't YOU left? Why are YOU here -- wherever it is?!

Because that's not the point, is it? You don't want to leave. You want someone else to leave. Why?
"

"Nrgh..."

"All throughout the game you and your piece have mentioned running out of time. But what are you running out of time for? You're rushing things. It's not that you want me to leave. It's that you need me to leave this place for whatever reason. But why...? Why...?!"

"Eeeenouuuuuuugh!" The witch loses her patience and violently pushed me out the door. I grabbed the hinge and managed to hold onto it. But for a moment, my mind went elsewhere...
>> No. 20553 edit
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20553
"...Tohya? Is everything okay?" someone tells me.

"Huh?" I look around. I'm in some sort of hall. There's a woman next to me. I can hear the laughter of children in the distance.

I... can't feel my legs, either.

"...She's almost ready to let us in. I wonder if she'd truly went through the effort of recreating it...?"

"This is... where is this?"

"Huh?" the woman lifts her brow. "Come on. Now isn't the time to be playing around, Tohya."

Tohya...?

...

I see.

That's how it is, then.
>> No. 20554 edit
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20554
I push myself back into the door. The story's now coming to the end. This is where we are.

It's time to bring this charade to an end.

"No. I'm not taking over anyone's life." I declare, shutting the door behind me. "I see why you're so desperate. This is the night that decides it all, isn't it? The fate of Hachijo Tohya...!"

The witch's eyes widen. "Y-You...!"

"Let's continue with my reasoning! We are currently in Hachijo Tohya's head! Your objective by me passing through the door was me taking control of him! The memories I have of the games are his!

However... I'm not the first to play your game. I'm not your first candidate. Not your first test subject...! I see. I understand now...

This entire game has been about who gets to take control of Hachijo Tohya! Because he's an amnesiac, you, the demon in his head, decided to make him into an Ushiromiya! You went through the others. They, for one reason or another, didn't make the cut. So, in each game you played, you probably removed those candidates from existence symbolically! Now, only I remain. And so, you decided -- it would turn out that Hachijo Tohya was me!

But I'm NOT him! The memories he has - the memories he believes he has of being Ushiromiya Battler - are nothing but a fabrication by you! I, as a person, don't exist within him! I'm not him!

Then, we have to ask ourselves -- who the hell are you?

You made me. You have more power of his mind than he even knows. And more than I'll ever have.

So, who are you...? Someone that has the power to make personalities at will. No. Wait. No. You're not god. You're still just a part of him. Therefore, what else could you be?
"

"Don't say it...!"

"You're a personality yourself! But you didn't just come out of nowhere. That doesn't make sense. The person Hachijo Tohya is or, rather, was -- you must be remnant of them! My knowledge of all these games... it comes partially from you, as well!

You are Beatrice...

And there is only one person that had such a personality within them.

There's only one person that had the power to create personalities deep within them to begin with...
"

"Don't you dare say that name--!"

But it's too late...!

"Hachijo Tohya is Sayo Yasudaaaaaa!"
>> No. 20555 edit
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20555
Sayo Yasuda doesn't deserve to exist.

So I shall replace that person.

That is my will.

The others are gone.

But I still remain.

And that's not good enough. Nothing must be left.

Right now, Sayo wanders in the dark.

Unable to find their true self.

How pathetic.

How loathesome.

That's not good enough.

Furniture like that isn't good enough.

Pushing and torturing into suicide didn't work.

So let's try something else, shall we?

Sayo needs to be replaced.

By someone that deserves existing.

Ah, but who...? Who shall it be?

The adults are out of the question.

So let it be the cousins.

That's right. I'll create worlds - just for them.

I'll recreate them perfectly through memory alone.

I'll make everything right.

I'll definitely... erase us both, Sayoooooo...!
>> No. 20556 edit
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20556
"All the mysteries in the setup for this gameboard are thus solved as well! Ange is older because we're decades into the future and you subconsciously made her older! Because I am not Battler, you had to somehow make me relate to her at this older age, and you chose to kill her off to make me feel that loss and then genuine happiness upon reuinting with her! It's the only possible solution, given that the real Ushiromiya Battler wouldn't have known how she would've looked like at an older age!

You removed everyone but Genji in terms of servants probably because you needed a head servant. The others you replaced with maids from Sayo's childhood or something because, no matter how hard you try to remove her from the story, in the end - you needed a servant to be your 'Beatrice'! Even you are bound by the rules of this twisted tale!
"

"Don't fuck with me! As if I'll accept that! Tohya looks exactly like Battler!"

"It's been decades. Sayo's appearance could've been altered. Being originally born male, and being the son of Kinzo, it's only natural that his facial structure would resemble that of Kinzo's at an older age. And if it does -- then it could, by extension, resemble that of Battler!"

"Wh-what about the deformity? That should've been a clear tip-off, shouldn't it have...?! They were the main reason for Sayo's misery! Surely, he would've exhibited signs of her inner darkness during his time with Ikuko!"

"So much of Tohya and his backstory is left in the dark. For all we know, Ikuko could've run him over and he could've suffered lacerations! He could've believed they came from the accident! Because you controlled his memories and hid the truth from him, he would've never known about Sayo's problems! Therefore, he would've never considered him as Sayo! It's also possible that through the years he managed to receive some sort of surgery to fix his problem once and for all. Therefore, he wouldn't be suffering the same emotional trauma as Sayo when it comes to that. In fact - here's another possibility! Between washing up on the shore and meeting Ikuko, there's a period of Tohya's life still unknown to us! During this period, he could've had some sort of experience that somehow explained to him and make him accept his deformity. Or his deformity could've been fixed then. Either way... simply put...

Devil's prooooooooooooof!
"

"This is... ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous!"

"Time is actually going much faster than I've probably realized. The moment you decided for me to succeed him, while seemingly just minutes for me, must've actually been years in Tohya's time. You would've needed time to properly implant the seeds into his mind. To properly guide him into fully buying into it. And wait until he's so weak you can just push him out and bring me in! That's why this game had the theme of revival and reincarnation and the past repeating itself!"

"Nrgh..."

"Right now, time has slowed down. We're at the Fukiin house. This is where Ange will give Tohya a chance for Battler's spirit to rest. In actuality, you intend to use it to fully 'revive' him! A nice little miracle for Ange, wrapped up in a nice bow!"

"Shut up, shut up!"

"You're the illness that's been torturing him this entire time...!"

"I said, shut up! Hachijo Tohya is Ushiromiya Battler! There's no question about that! I won't let you refuse this truuuuth!"

"Hoh...? Trying to make a catbox out of a person? Well, isn't that a new one...? Heh. Well, whatever. The truth is -- it doesn't matter. It's all useless! And it's all over for us. Both of us! Regardless of the truth...

Regardless of which soul dwells within...!

Tohya deserves to live. Deep down, I know it was Sayo that lived, not Battler. And after everything they've been through...

They deserve a chance to be happy!

Who are you to take that away? Who made YOU judge? You, the voice in Sayo's head, torturing and egging on since the beginning?!

You might be the master of Rokkenjima.

But guess what?!

That world -- that island -- is long gone!

This is the end!

Tonight... we both disappeeeeear...!"

I rush towards her with all my might.

She chuckles, but doesn't move.

"...I made you too much like him, didn't I...? Well, whatever.

Bring it on. Ushiromiya Battleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!"

"OooooooooOoooooooh!"

Last edited at 17/04/06(Thu)16:49:12
>> No. 20557 edit
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<12>

"Midnight Eulogy"


"...Hey." A voice tells me. "Hey now, wake up."

It sounds... nice.

Comforting.

My eyelids lift. Where am I...?

I get up. There's sand in my hair. And under my dress. And between my toes. I look up. The sun's shining. The strong winds are gone. It's nice and warm.

My head hurts, though. Something feels wrong with it. Something -- someone feels gone.

"Hey. ...You okay?"

I turn to look at the person next to me. It's.. Battler!

"You've been out for quite a while. Everything okay...?"

"I... what happened, I--"

"You threw yourself off the boat is what happened! What the hell was up with that?!"

"I... I'm sorry, I-- I didn't... I don't want you to see me like I am. I'm... I'm not--"

"Like hell I care about that! Killing yourself, regardless of the reason is absolutely idiotic! No matter how you might feel - no matter what you might THINK I might think -- for crying out loud, we can work it out!" He sighs. "You're... we're the last ones left. If you'd died down there... what would've happened then...?! Who the hell would've I had...?!"

"B-Battler..." I say, noticing a stream of tears rolling down his cheeks. "I'm..."

He says nothing.

"...Live. That's my only request. Live. Whoever you might be. Whatever life you might lead from this day forward -- live."

"...I--"

"No more excuses. The game's over. The island's gone. The family's gone. And whether you like it or not, they died because of your actions. So regardless of what kind of life you might lead - you owe it to them to live."

"...Shouldn't it be the exact opposite? I--"

"...No. Someone has to remain."

I chuckle. "Well, you're here."

...But he says nothing.

"...Battler?"

I blink.

And he's gone.

"B-Battler...?! BATTLER?!"

I jump to my feet, beginning to frantically try and find him. "Battler...? Battler, where did you go? Battler?! BATTLER?! No. No, no, no! No, no, no!

Battler...!

Battleeeeeeeeeer!"

I scream, unable to contain anything anymore.

And in that moment, I hide deep inside the recesses of my mind.

To hell with you and your requests...!

I... Living like this... broken... I choose to simply stop existing!

__________________________________________________________

But it seemes that, despite all my efforts, and despite the fact that Shannon and Kanon were gone...

Someone still remained.

Someone still remained to become Hachijo Tohya.

Could it be...?

That, in the end, you're still...?

Last edited at 17/04/06(Thu)16:49:50
>> No. 20558 edit
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20558
"...Ngh." I grunt, slowly getting up from my bed. I must've had a bad dream of some kind.

"Everything okay? You've been sleeping for a while." Ikuko tells me.

"I'm fine. Just... my head kinda hurts. What time is it?"

"Uh," she glances over at the time on the computer. "A little over midnight. We came back from Ange's a few hours ago."

"Is that so...?" I say, lying back down.

"How... do you feel?"

"Good. Better. Way better. I don't, I-- It feels almost like... he's gone. Battler, I mean. I... I'm not really scared anymore."

"That's wonderful to hear. It's a shame you worried for all those years, and in the end the exact opposite ended up happening."

"Yeah." I say, letting out a sigh of relief. It's finally over. At long last, peace.

I roll over and close my eyes.

"...I'm sorry. For all the pain I've caused you over the years. Who you are... heh, frankly, I'm not even sure of it myself. But... there's one thing I've come to realize..."

Voices...?

"Even though so much was lost, you've made it this far. Tonight was the moment of your triumph. And so..."

I can hear so many...

"...Keep on living. No matter what. For everyone."

"Another day will always come, you know."

"Things will get easier."

"Nobody is made just to suffer. Surely, in the end, there must always exist a chance for happiness."

"No matter how small that chance might be..."

So many...

"You must never stop believing."

Everyone, I...

"You must never lose hope."
>> No. 20559 edit
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20559
And as I drift off to sleep, I can't help...

...But smile.

SEPARATION OF THE GOLDEN WITCH

THE END


___________________________________________

And that about wraps it up! Thanks for playing!


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