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20883 No. 20883 edit
Welcome to a new game of mine.

This one will be played between me and a single opponent (I don't recall what they went by on this site earlier, or if they wish to go under a different name, should they choose to). The rules for the game are listed below.

So, without further ado:

IT IS IN OUR HOME
An Umineko Mystery
Expand all images
>> No. 20884 edit
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20884
RULES:

The game will be played differently than usual. As suggested before, it'll be a game played between me and another person. It won't be a game of roleplaying nature. Instead, it'll be a simple battle of red v blue.

...With one additional condition.

◆ The player will start out with 15 points. I prefer to look at them as chips, though - such as the ones you'd use in poker.

◆ The player will make a blue regarding one of the mysteries of the gameboard. Upon doing so, *they will bet a certain number of points*. Then, one of two things will happen:

◇ I will say PASS, in which case the player gets the points he bet back, and has the amount he bet added to his total, as well. (So, if the player has 15 points, bets 3, then upon a PASS, they'd have 18).
◇ I will respond with red denying the blue OR reason why that line of reasoning doesn't make sense. If this happens, the player obviously loses the amount of points they bet. (So, player has 15 points, bets 3, gets a red, ends up with 12.)

__________________________

◆ Of course, you may think -- "well, if DWaM just uses some sort of wordplay, then the player will always lose points no matter what!" Thankfully, I'm not that evil. The player will then be given an opportunity to provide more blues regarding that particular theory, in order to try and circumvent that particular red - without the cost of points. When the player is satisfied that particular avenue of reasoning has been closed off, they lose the points and agree to the LOSS.

◇ So, for example:

PLAYER: BET: 3. The killer was hiding in the bathroom.

GM: But person X searched the bathroom, didn't they?

PLAYER: Person X was an accomplice!

GM: There are no accomplices.

PLAYER: The killer found someplace in the bathroom to hide!

GM: There were no hiding places. If he was hiding in there, person X would've seen him.

PLAYER Ngh. I conceed. LOSS : -3 [Moves on to next theory]

_____

However, should the player try to use this system to fish out more information that they should get out of that particular line of reasoning; for example, if during that discussion, they'd said:

PLAYER: Fine, he's not in the bathroom. Blue: He was hiding in the closet!

In that case, I would require points to be bet on before I responded to such a blue.

Of course, those particular instances are up to my own discretion, so you could arguably trick me into giving you more info during this encounters than you should. Conversely, if you feel like your blue is still within limits of your original theory, state your case and I might reconsider, you never know. I'm only human.

________________

The game is played until:
◆The player runs out of points (resulting in his defeat; in which case the gameboard will simply switch to a traditional red v blue and open to everyone).
◆ All the mysteries are solved. In which case, there are also different things that may happen:

◇ If by the time all mysteries are solved the player has 30 or more points, they win.
◇ If they do not, the game is draw.

◆ It's worth noting that the game will not have over 15 mysteries or something like that. Meaning that even if the player gets everything right from the get-go, if he bet only 1 point per theory, they still don't win.

The main reason for this is that the point of this game is have the player both be willing to risk in order to gain information (or just progress), and be confident enough in their theories and strategically choose which avenues to close off and when - investing low points over simple basics one needs to cover, to high points when they think they've got a really solid theory.

Of course, that's all up to the player, really.

____________________

Some general notes:

◆ Shooting off multiple blues regarding multiple mysteries of the gameboard isn't allowed. Likewise, it is not allowed to just try and shotgun different blues for one mystery, pretending like it's one blue and trying to lower the amount of points spent.

◆ There is, however, and exception -- you may try to solve the entire mystery in one blue. However, you would have to wager at least over half of your points. You would only get back the amount of points you'd bet, and if I respond to one thing with red and you end up conceding to it, then you lose all the points and I'm not required to answer any other blues regarding the other mysteries you brought up. If I'm the one that ends up conceding and the particular part of the blue I had an issue with passes, then I toss out another red, until I eventually pass the entire thing through and you win, or you concede one element and the entire thing falls through.

The reason for this strange rule?

Well, if you were to bet all 15 points at the beginning of the game and shoot one blue that gets it all right...

Well, that should be rewarded with a win, shouldn't it now?

Conversely, however, I had to ensure the player wouldn't exploit this to get more information than allowed, hence the "over half points rule".

◆ You're allowed to, obviously, place more than one bet per post. It's just convenience. But evidently risky.

◆ I'm allowed to state general reds at any stage of the game; without necessarily being prompted to do so by a bet. A clause that's good to have around, just in case.
>> No. 20885 edit
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20885
GENERAL GUARANTEES:

◆ The culprit must be someone mentioned in the story.
◆ The culprit is the one who kills.
◆ There is only one culprit.
◆ The culprit is a human.
◆ There are no accomplices.
◆ An accomplice is someone who willingly and knowingly assists the culprit in the execution of their plans.
◆ The POV can be trusted. The perspective character, of course, can be decieved. But there are no deceptions such as glaring omissions like "the ceiling was secretly not there".
◆ For the purposes of the game, no master keys exist.
◆ No supernatural occurrences exist on the island, and no supernatural occurences were used to commit any of the murders.
◆ Oh, almost forgot - the fact that there is no Maria is entirely intentional but has no bearing for the story. I just never know what to do with the kid so I always figure it's easier to just take her off the board.

Last edited at 17/10/19(Thu)23:20:20
>> No. 20886 edit
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20886
The Overture

— Who killed Cock Robin?

I came to in a mix of haze and confusion and stumbled out of bed. I shivered slightly. The floor was cold. The entire guesthouse was. We turned off the heating after 11. It was usually one of our last duties for the day. Either me or Kanon. Generally Kanon.

I lazily scanned the inside of the servants' room. My view finally stopping at the window. The tapping on the glass only getting louder as I approached it. Rain. That's right. I'd started raining just the night before, after what was a pleasant and shining afternoon. If I hadn't known any better, I would've thought those murky skies were foretelling misfortune.

I yawned, then quickly put on my maid outfit and looked at myself in the mirror.

I had trouble sleeping the night before. I hoped it wouldn't show.

I chuckled dryly. The only person I would be trying to hide the bags under my eyes was probably the only one who'd mind them the least.

I looked over. It seemed Kanon had gotten a head start over me.

A rare occurrence, indeed.
>> No. 20887 edit
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20887
"Oh, Shannon! Morning!" Battler motioned to me as I made my way to the lower floor of the guesthouse. He was sitting at the bar, sipping something I quickly realized was not water.

"Isn't it a bit early for you? Seriously..." Jessica was visibly annoyed.

Battler, as if mocking, took another sip. "I've watered it down. And mixed it with juice." he turned to George. "Isn't that right?"

George, in response, re-adjusted his glasses, as if put on the spot. "Even so... this is pretty irresponsible."

"And that's going by even your standards." Jessica hissed.

Battler's confident grinned eased and eventually faded. "Um... right. Sorry, I guess." The other cousins, much to his dismay, hadn't been amused. He still quickly gulped down the contents of the glass. "Better than letting it go down the sink." He added. I quickly took the glass and headed over to the kitchen area to put it in the sink for the time being.

When I came back, the atmosphere had lightened a bit. Actually - it was as if the little exchange hadn't even happened. Then again, it made sense. It wasn't a big deal to begin with. Right.

Ugh.

I was still clearly thinking too much about interactions. Especially the ones involving Battler. Him being back so suddenly, and after so many years...

...It wasn't something I'd expected.

Or something I particularly looked forward to, to be entirely honest.

But that wouldn't matter now. Because George was there. And as long as everyone got along, and as long as the Ushiromiya family conference went smoothly, there was nothing to despair over. Just looking at them - in a moment, they'd gone from groaning to smiling and joking around.

Was that... perhaps, just the effect Battler had on people, though?

"Oh, speaking of being irresponsible, though..." Battler said, glancing in my direction, "Where's Kanon? Jessica's here's close to splitting in two out of anticipation!" He winked.

The wink was promptly met with a punch to the shoulder from a red-faced Jessica.

I, however, was taken aback.

"What do you mean?" I said, raising my hand to my chin. "Shouldn't he have been here...? We were all supposed to go to the mansion for breakfast..."

"He wasn't upstairs?" Jessica asked.

I simply shook my head. "He wasn't. And there's nothing in the duty sheet until lunchtime." My heart skipped a bit, as a sudden flash of worry passed through my body.

Yet, as quickly as it came...

"Hey, now. No need to overthink this. He's probably in the mansion. Someone might've needed him for something."

...Battler defused it.

"Right. You're right." Jessica sighed.

"Shall we go, then?" George asked, approaching me, an umbrella in his hand. "We're going to be late."
>> No. 20888 edit
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20888
We made it through the rain and into the mansion's main hall.

It was quiet.

And, well, you know what I'm going to say next.

It was too quiet.

Even on the days when it was just a few of us on the island, by this time, there should've been voices coming out of the dining hall. There should've been the faint sound of Gohda's voice booming throughout the kitchen, as he got carried away in his morning routine, as he usually always had. There should've been the sound of a person slowly making their way down the stairs, to meet with the others for breakfast.

But there was nothing.

Just the sound of our footsteps.

The sound of rain tapping on the windows.

And thunder, roaring in the far distance.

"Um... good morning?" I figured I was the one that should speak first, as I went ahead and peeked into the dining room. Just as one might've suspected - it was empty. The tablecloth hadn't been changed. The plates hadn't been set. And the curtains had still been drawn.

Almost as if nobody had been in it since the night before.

Except that made no sense. Genji and Kumasawa were always in charge of going through the mansion for a morning sweep and breakfast preparations. First Kanon, now...

"Uh, hello?" Battler spoke next. "Anyone, heeeere?"

Given the silence, we guessed not.

"Um, yes?"

Yet, given the voice that broke it, we'd guessed incorrectly, it seemed.
>> No. 20889 edit
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20889
"Ah, good morning!" It was Doctor Nanjo. "Uh... is it just you...?" He seemed to be just as confused as us. "I got here about twenty minutes ago." He'd slept in the guesthouse, on one of the lower floors. "I figured that my watch was just really off so I just waited here in the main hall." He paused. "Um... am I to assume I'm not early, then?"

"You haven't seen anyone pass by?" I asked. "Nobody at all? Genji? Kumasawa? Master Krauss?"

The old man shook his head.

George glanced at his watch. "That's... weird. They should've been here by now."

"Maybe they all got drunk and slept in or something?" Jessica chuckled. Nervously.

Yet, just as the tension was rising in the air, we heard the previously expected footsteps of someone coming down the stairs. Yet, it was the last person we'd expected to see:

Ushiromiya Kinzo. The head of the family.

"...Hmm?" The Head, his face never changing expression, did seem to have found us stumbling about in the main hall as a curious sight.

"Ah, Kinzo! Good morning." The doctor offered him greetings.

"...Morning. Is something the matter?"

Nanjo's glance quickly turned to me.

"Oh! Um... Well! We... can't seem to find anyone! The table hasn't been set, and I can't... I mean, we... can't seem to find anyone, actually!"

Kinzo's eyelids slowly closed. "Is that so...? Hrm." He failed to say anything more.

"Shall we take a look around, then?"
>> No. 20890 edit
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20890
The mansion consisted of the ground floor and three additional floors.

Kinzo figured that given that Nanjo hadn't seen anyone pass the downstairs floor, and that nobody was too eager to respond to us, it was much more worthwhile to check out the rooms upstairs.

He grimaced at Jessica repeating the suggestion that everyone had simply slept in.

His suggestion was that, given that there was six of us, we should all split up.

Battler and Jessica were to take the first floor.
Kinzo and Nanjo the second.
George and I the third.

"You okay?" he asked me, out of the blue.

I chuckled. "You say that like there's a reason I shouldn't be."

"Well, I don't know. Empty house. Island cut off from the rest of the world. Bad weather. Family of greedy people--"
"Hey, now." I said. "Your mother might hear you."

He shrugged. "Is what it is."

"Awfully cocky today, aren't we?" I noticed.

"It's just... I don't know." I noticed him getting red. As I figured, he couldn't keep the appearance of the confident knight in shining armor Battler had always been able to. "I don't know." He admitted, again.

We roamed the halls, searched as best we could. Most doors were locked. Those that weren't were empty. And absolutely nobody was responding to our knocks. Not a soul in sight. Much less a peep.

"I... um, I love you, Sayo."

I turned. "Um... I don't think now's the time, George."

He smiled awkwardly. "For some reason, I felt like saying it."

"I... I love you too, George."

I realized I was starting to shake.

"Sayo... everything's okay. I'm sure this is just..." But even George realized that, on some level, this was very, very bizarre.

There was a faint smell in the air. Dare I say - stench?

Where were the other family members? The other servants? Kanon?

Yet, regardless of how much I asked, my only answer was the sound of rain tapping gently on the windows.
>> No. 20891 edit
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20891
"Everyone! Down here!" We heard Battler cry out from somewhere in the mansion.

We moved to the first floor. By the time we'd come down, Kinzo and Doctor Nanjo were already with Battler and Jessica, standing in front of the door.

Just standing.

Looking.

I very soon discovered why:

On the door to Natsuhi and Krauss' room, there it was, written in what I hoped to God was red ink:

WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN?
>> No. 20892 edit
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20892
A Decorated Box

— I, said the Sparrow,
with my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.


Kinzo stopped any of us from approaching it and instead motioned to Nanjo. "Open it."

Nanjo, with clear hesitation in his eyes, put his hand on the doorknob. He twisted and pushed, but it wouldn't budge. So, I went and gave it a shot - in spite of Kinzo's protests. But nothing. The door really did seem to be locked.

Kinzo, without another word, pulled us both to the side and - with one kick - knocked the door down.

We didn't even need to step into the room to feel it. The smell. The stench. But one different from before. This one was... of burnt flesh. Images of a barbecue flashed in my mind; yet what was inside was far from a nice pleasant Sunday barbecue.

The layout of Natsuhi's and Krauss' room was as follows: Across the door were three windows, all next to each other. They were old and worked on a simple "push-up to open, push-down to close" principle. Near the wall that was left of the door was a king-sized bed. Right next to it was a dresser, with some jewelry spread out on top of it. As I entered, something about it struck me as odd, but I couldn't figure out what. Now, upon recollection, I know it was the mysterious purple-colored box that I knew I hadn't seen before in the room. I would've noticed the orange butterflies it'd been decorated with.

Near the right wall of the door was a full-body mirror, a closet, a nightstand with a phone, and further down the same wall was the door to the bathroom. It was wide open when we found it.

By "it" - being the body, placed a bit closer to the opposite wall, its feet pointing towards us. It was in a T-pose. What was left of it, at least. It had been horribly burnt. Worse yet - it was lacking a head.

The first thought that came rushing through my mind was - how could have a fire taken place in the mansion without anyone realizing? How had the entire mansion not burned down? Judging by the stench and the state of the body, it had to have been burnt in the room itself.

Before I had a chance to think properly, Jessica had already rushed towards the body. But it wasn't out of concern for her parents - they were nowhere to be found, anyway - but out of the simple fact she'd recognized the half-burnt uniform on the body.

"God, no... No, no, no, no, NO!" she chanted as she fell to her knees next to the remains.

And then, I recognized it, too.

And soon, we all did.

Without a doubt, it was Kanon's.

I wanted to scream. Cry. Touch. Shake. Find the head. Find a way where it wasn't his body. Kill the bastard who'd done it. For a second, I thought about taking something - anything - in the room, and stabbing everyone I'd come across. For a second, I wanted to just run away and throw myself in the sea and let my body wander for all eternity. For a second, I'd completely forgotten about George.

And then I took a deep breath.

The scent of ash filling my nostrils and lungs.

And then I remembered.

And then I clenched my fist. And I began to investigate.
>> No. 20893 edit
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20893
My original questions had been answered fairly quickly.

The reason the fire went unnoticed was because someone had taken the batteries out of the smoke detector that was in the room. The reason the fire hadn't spread was because the floor of the room had been covered by a sheet of, as Kinzo later explained, "a flame-resistant material". Actually, he said what it was called exactly, but I couldn't have been bothered to remember.

Nanjo had a hard time pinpointing the time of death. As far as everyone knew, I was the last person to have seen Kanon alive. That would've been around 11 PM the previous night, when we'd both gone to sleep. "I take sleeping pills," I explained, "so I wouldn't have noticed if he'd gotten up and left during the night. Or, if someone had come in and..." I glanced over at Jessica. Clearly, the thought of someone taking away her lover in the middle of the night and brutally killing him, all while she was a few rooms away, was the last thing she needed at the moment.

I checked the windows. All closed. The frames of the windows were pretty thick and quite heavy. I would later consider the possibility that the killer had removed them from their frame - but if they had - it couldn't have possibly been done by one person.

I wondered why the culprit had gone through the trouble of burning the body. What on Earth could they have possibly been achieving with it? And why put him in this room? Why cut off his head? And why Kanon?

Oh, God, why did it have to be Kanon?

I checked the closet. Under the bed. Anywhere someone could've potentially been hiding.

Nobody.

I checked the bathroom. Same deal. Aside from the bathtub, there was really no place to hide. The window in it was also closed. The ones in the bathroom were different that the ones in the living areas, and could be locked, as well.

Yet, the bathroom was far from a normal sight.

Near the sink, an old-fashioned scale had been placed. Like the ones you'd see on a statue of justice. One part of the scale had a small cup placed on it. The cup was overflowing with water; only natural, given that the sink was running. That was the part of the scale that was tipping it over.

The other part had a lighter. It was still burning, but with a very weak flame. It must've been burning for a while.

On the bathroom tiles, I noticed a thin line of soot about 7 inches in length, going out of the bathroom and into the room. I noticed the same traces on the black sheet the body had been on, and it led straight to Kanon's leg.

I realized what had happened.
>> No. 20894 edit
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20894
Someone had doused Kanon's - at the time, very likely headless - body with something flammable. Probably something not as strong as gasoline, but pretty up there, if it burned the body that well. They then tied a rope, probably doused in the same stuff - or maybe some other flammable string - and spread it out all the way to the bathroom, where they'd set up a contraption. They'd placed the rope somewhere above the lighter, which, at the time, was on the lowered part of the scale. Then, they set water to fill up the cup.

The culprit then probably left.

As the cup filled, the scale tipped and brought the lighter higher and higher - until it came in contact with the rope, setting it on fire. The rope then served as a fuse that eventually set Kanon's body on fire.

Except... why?

Why do that?

Why do any of this?

The killer could've just doused Kanon then and there and leave the room, couldn't they have?

It didn't make any sense.
>> No. 20895 edit
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20895
"Hey, um... There's something kind of weird here." George suddenly said.

I moved over to see him looking at that same purple box with the orange butterflies. This time, I'd noticed that it had a highly-decorated lock on it. As I said, it wasn't there before. And I quickly realized it.

But that's not what made George think it was strange.

It was the fact that in the dresser itself, a small arrow had been carved in. It was pointing towards a key that had been placed directly in front of the box.

I first tried to open the box. And given that it was locked, I decided to try the key next. Kinzo, however, pulled me aside, took the key from my hands and decided to unlock it for himself. "Are you crazy?" he told me. "You've just finished explaining to us how this killer is both a pyromaniac and an amateur engineer - you really want to be the one to open a box he'd left behind? Pah!" he scoffed. "Step aside."

I did as I was told, but still watched intently at the box, as Kinzo inserted the key and lifted the lid.

This time, we were all gathered, looking at what was inside.

It was a key.

I gasped.

It was a key to Natsuhi and Krauss' room.

The room we were standing in.

The only one.
>> No. 20896 edit
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20896
"Everyone. Submit to a search. Immediately." Kinzo declared. "It has become quite apparent a killer roams in this mansion. The status of the others is unknown. There is a chance one of us is a killer - a chance I must not take lightly. A true monster is prepared to strike at any moment. And we can't let that happen.

So, submit to the search."

Perhaps to his surprise, there were no objections. Perhaps everyone knew they couldn't talk back to the great Ushiromiya head - the man with a million and a half experiences. The man who had looked the devil himself in the eyes during the war and knew not to take any chances. Perhaps we were all just terrified.

Perhaps it was a bit of both.

Jessica was too distraught over Kanon's death.

George's stomach was starting to catch up to the images of the body itself.

Battler was keeping himself together. Barely, it seemed, though.

Even Doctor Nanjo, who'd seen plenty of death, seemed shaken. Why wouldn't he have? He'd seen Kanon alive just hours before.

Above all, though, we were all scared.

Thinking about where the others were. If they were okay.

Probably, even then...

Even then, we knew the answer, deep down.

...The search itself turned up nothing. We didn't have any keys on us. No weapons. Nothing. For the time being, at least, it seemed like we were all on even playing field.
>> No. 20897 edit
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20897
We continued to move around the first floor, looking for survivors. Now that we knew there was a killer on the loose, we couldn't take any chances. The rooms we'd previously found locked had to be broken down. We had to make sure that the silence on the other wasn't because they'd met the same fate as Kanon.

The closest room to check first was Rudolf and Kyrie's room.
>> No. 20898 edit
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20898
Sorrow

— Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly,
with my little eye,
I saw him die.


"This door," Battler began to explain, "isn't actually locked by a key." To demonstrate, he grabbed the handle and pushed forward. His push, however, came to an abrupt end, as the door remained held in place by a chain. He nudged it once. Twice. Unsurprisingly, the door wasn't interested in just opening anyway. "I tried calling out, but..."

"Call out again." Kinzo said.

Battler nodded. "Dad! Kyrie! You in there?"

"Louder." the head of the Ushiromiya head demanded.

"Um... is that really a good idea if there's a killer roaming ar--"

"--RUDOOOOOLF!" Kinzo screamed into the room through the gap. No response.

The visibility into the room was nonexistent. The only thing we could make out through the gap was a while wall.

Left with no choice, Kinzo once again used the power few believed he still had in him and kicked the door down.

I immediately covered my mouth.

This time, the realization was immediate.
>> No. 20899 edit
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20899
The headless bodies of Kyrie and Rudolf had been placed in the center of the room, each positioned in a chair - forced to face each other. Of course, given their lack of heads, it was less "facing" and more...

Well.

You get the idea.

"NOOOOOOO!" An unexpected burst of emotion from Battler as he rushed into the room. "No, no, no!"

"George, restrain him!" Kinzo ordered and George followed the commanding lead. Before Battler had a chance to reach the bodies, he was already firmly in George's grasp.

"Let me go! I said - LET ME GO!"

"...Battler. I understand how you feel, but this doesn't achieve anything! It's a crime scene! Not to mention, the culprit might've set a trap in the room!"

"If the culprit wanted to kill us, ngh-" Battler tried to struggle out of George's hold, "HE WOULD'VE KILLED US WHEN WE FUCKING SLEPT!"

"That's still not justification to go in rushing like a mad dog." Kinzo ultimately said, beginning to carefully look around the room, scanning for any signs of danger. After finally making sure there were no apparent threats, the rest of the group stepped further into the room. George released Battler, but by that time, Battler had no intention of running towards anything. Or screaming.

He ran his hand across his face, keeping it over his mouth for a solid minute.

He then began moving around. Searching. For something. Anything.

My guess at the time he was just trying to distance himself internally from the situation. That it was easier.

"Chain... chain must've been set from the inside... so... so is the killer still in here maybe...?" he murmured. But a quick search of the room established that couldn't be further from the truth.

Yet, Battler continued to search.

Eventually, he seemed to come across something.

It was a key.

He lifted it up so we can all see it. It had a red skull drawn on it. What looked like a red skull on it, anyway.

"Anyone got any idea what this opens?" Battler asked. His voice was shaking.

Nobody had a response.

"Well? Anyone...? Anyone know... Anyone know what THIS IS IN MY PARENTS' ROOM?!" he finally roared, before falling to his knees, landing on the palms of his hands. He looked up. Tears rolled down his cheeks. His hand reached out towards Kyrie's corpse, before stopping. He was entirely frozen. The pathetic look in his eyes told you that he didn't know what to do with himself.

George approached him, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Battler... I..."

Battler said nothing.

Despite both Jessica and me having seen someone as important as Kanon dying like that, we still got close to him and tried to comfort him. No - actually - maybe it was precisely because we'd seen something like that, and forced in those few crucial moments to come to terms with the reality we'd never see or speak to him again - that we thought we could pull him back together for just a few hours until we figured out what to do next.

After that, we promised ourselves we'd all get to cry.

Eventually, Battler picked himself off the ground, and wiped off his tears. He took the key, clenched it in his fist, and then slid his hand into his jacket. "...You never know." he explained. "It might be useful later."
>> No. 20900 edit
File 150843471273.png - (43.93KB , 640x480 , 15.png )
20900
There was nothing really especially important regarding that particular room, looking back on it. The layout was similar to Krauss' and Natsuhi's room. Actually, thinking about it, almost all of the bedrooms had the same layout, with the exception of the body's positions. The windows, the only other means of going in or out of the room, were closed shut. Nothing else seemed out of the ordinary.

If nothing else, I was thankful to have not come across any strange contraptions in the bathroom.
>> No. 20901 edit
File 150843473577.png - (286.66KB , 640x480 , 16.png )
20901
Nightmare

— Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish,
with my little dish,
I caught his blood.


We moved to the second floor.

"We hadn't had a chance to fully search it before we heard Battler." Nanjo explained. "W-We checked some doors, of course, but--"

"They got the gist, my friend." Kinzo simply waved at the doctor, his guard visibly still up.

We got to Eva and Hideyoshi's room.

"Th-That's one of the rooms we hadn't yet checked." Nanjo said, again, quite redundantly.

George was the one to step forward. He knocked on the door. "Mom...? Dad?" He called out. He seemed calm, but his heart was in his throat. He was expecting the worst. When I noticed his hand shaking, I grabbed it. It was so cold.

His eyes met mine. It's impossible to think what someone else is thinking at times like these, of course. I only had his expression to go on. The way I told it to myself at the time was... He was praying. Praying that he would hear his mom's voice from the other side. His dad's sleepy laugh. A joke about sleeping in. Yeah. That's what he was hoping for, surely.

"It'll all be okay." I gave him a little smile.

And he smiled back.

And I felt fucking awful because something in my head was screaming at me that we were all fucked and that his parents were no exception and that opening that door was going to be the worst decision of his life.

The door wasn't locked.

Oh, no.

The Monster wanted to make sure we all saw it.
>> No. 20902 edit
File 150843475737.png - (303.06KB , 640x480 , 17.png )
20902
They weren't headless, Eva and Hideyoshi.

And to be honest, to this day, I'm convinced part of the reason that the culprit chose to keep those initial murders headless was so that we'd keep that expectation in mind. Headless corpses. That in a strange way, over just a few minutes, we'd accept it before we ever saw it.

That we could make it easier on ourselves.

But that's the thing. That's the thing the Monster wanted.

They were both naked.

Eva's body was in one corner of the room. Her tongue had been ripped out. Her eyes gouged out. Her face beaten repeatedly until it was blue. Her wrists and ankles showed deep blue marks - she'd been tied up before she was killed. And based on all the cuts and bruises on her body - it wasn't hard to figure out for what reason.

Hideyoshi, though, was the one who suffered worse.

He was positioned in the center of the room, put on his back. His stomach had been ripped open by a knife. His intestines had been put out on display. His groin had been mutilated. Just like Eva, his face had been beaten repeatedly to the pulp. His beating being much more brutal.

George took one step in.

He looked at the scene.

And then he screamed.

Jessica began to throw up violently and rushed into the bathroom, leaving traces of vomit behind her. Battler didn't even bother with the bathroom, he vomited in the hallway outside. Nanjo dropped to his knees, holding his head in his hands. Even the poor physician had seen enough death and misery for a lifetime. Kinzo merely stood, his expression - despite his age, despite his legendary reputation, despite his calm up to that point - was nothing short of mortified. And me -- no matter how much I tried, I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down. I jumped and hugged George. I buried my face in his back. I want to say it was because I wanted to comfort him. But the truth is, I was just trying to look away from it all. I wanted his warmth to comfort me, even if I should've been the one doing it for him. I'm sorry.

It was too much.

It was a nightmare.
>> No. 20903 edit
File 150843477895.png - (228.62KB , 640x480 , 18.png )
20903
George ran. Without a word. Everyone else was in too much shock to do anything about it. I, of course, ran after him, though. I heard Kinzo yelling something, but I didn't care. I needed to help him. I didn't care about anything anymore. Just George.

I had to save him. To help him.

I yelled. Telling him to stop. He, in turn, just screamed. Tears were stilling rolling down my face. I could barely keep up, but I did. At last, as we turned a corner, I'd caught up with him and threw the weight of my entire body - lunging forward.

I missed him.

But the sound of me hitting the floor made him stop.

He didn't turn around.

He merely dropped to his knees again.

And wept.

I crawled to him. I didn't feel worthy of getting up.

And once again, I hugged him. His faced dropped onto my chest. And he continued to cry. And I hugged him and held him tight. And I told him it was okay.

I knew that the killer was out there.

I knew that they wanted to kill us all.

And truth be told, had someone with a knife come around the corner, and even if I'd seen them, and even if I'd had enough time to react -- if doing something about it meant letting George go -- chances are, I would've taken any brutal death they had to offer me. I didn't care. I would use my body as a shield to protect him.

A living nightmare.

Yeah.

That's how it really was.
>> No. 20904 edit
File 150843480271.png - (299.48KB , 640x480 , 19.png )
20904
Everyone was out in the hallway by the time we'd come back. Battler had been keeping watch along with Nanjo. Kinzo had made an exception to his past rule of wanting to preserve the crime scenes and took the time to cover the two bodies. Jessica was in the corner, shaking, vomit and saliva soaking her clothes. Her head was buried in her hands. If this was the treatment George's parents got... perhaps the worst was yet to come?

"...New plan." Kinzo finally said. "We'll move to the kitchen, as a group. We'll gather some food and then hole up in my study. After all, the only person that'll be coming here is Kuwabata. And if the culprit ends up ambushing him, it'll take some time for the police to get here." His eyelids closed. "We... we're done with explorations."

Nobody argued.

What the fuck were we supposed to say?
>> No. 20905 edit
File 150843482353.png - (473.34KB , 640x480 , 20BEFORE.png )
20905
The Keys

— Who'll make the shroud?
I, said the Beetle,
with my thread and needle,
I'll make the shroud.


We carefully moved downstairs. The rain had by that point began to ease up a bit. I remember thinking that it would end soon and we would be contacting the police from Kinzo's study as soon as we got to it.

You might think that Kinzo wanting us to get food was strange of him, seeing as how by that point, most of us believed we would be calling police and the nightmare would come to an end the same day. Kinzo explained that he was thinking ahead - there was a chance the culprit had managed to cut the phone lines. In which case, help would not be arriving until the next day. By which point - who knew what could happen? Going to get food as soon as possible, before the culprit had a chance to prepare traps or arm themselves even further, seemed like the best option.

Of course, as we later learned when we got to Kinzo's study, he was spot on in his way of thinking. The culprit had indeed cut the phone lines connecting us to the outside world.

We moved through the silent dining room and into the kitchen.

In retrospect, while Kinzo's plan was reasonable, it was stupid of us to believe that the angel of death hadn't passed through there, as well.
>> No. 20906 edit
File 150843484233.png - (373.67KB , 640x480 , 20.png )
20906
Upon entering, the first thing that struck us was the faint smell of smoke. Across the door was the stove, with five large pots on it - all were boiling, and had a lid covering them. The first thing one would think was that maybe Gohda had been in the middle of cooking something before he got distracted - or worse - but that didn't make sense. It was only breakfast. He shouldn't have been starting on something that big so early. And, more importantly perhaps, none of us had seen Gohda needing to prepare a dish that needed five of the largest pots in the kitchen to be boiling at the same time.

Kinzo carefully took a step forward to the first pot.

He took off the lid and looked inside...

The silence was only broken by the sound of boiling water.

Then, having seen something, Kinzo instinctively took a step back, dropping the lid onto the floor. "Don't come any closer!" he ordered us, before looking into the pot again. His breathing had gotten heavier. It seemed that not even great Ushiromiya family head, the man who some had said dealt with even the devil, could handle the stress of the situation.

To our surprise, he suddenly reached into the pot.

Moments later, he held up a key.

"This is--" Kinzo began to comment, but was suddenly cut off by a gasp from Doctor Nanjo.

"Is that..." the old physician exclaimed, "blood on the key?!"

We all looked. Indeed, even though it had been in water, there were distinct red stains covering it. Meaning...

"What... is in those pots?" Jessica asked.

"None of your concer--"

"What's in those pots?!" Battler now demanded, moving in the direction of the family head. It seemed as if the general had lost some of the strength he possessed over his troops. But, he was still Ushiromiya Kinzo. The moment Battler got close to him, he grabbed him by the shoulders, stopping him from getting to the pots.

This, however, only meant that he would be unable to stop the rest of us when we got to the stove to take a look.

Inside the pot, surfacing and disappearing into the red bubbling water, was Gohda's head. Without thinking, we began to take off the lids of the other pots. In one - a human hand. In another - a human foot. In yet another - what I assumed was a kidney. And in the final one - an actual human heart.

All of the parts looked to have been cooking for hours, at least.

Another shriek of shock might've been warranted, you would say. But after Eva and Hideyoshi's deaths... we were already too shaken up to scream any further.
>> No. 20907 edit
File 150843486442.png - (10.08KB , 640x480 , 22.png )
20907
It was at that point that George seemed to notice something. "Hey... over there." he said, pointing to the pot with a hand in it. "Is that another key...?"

Kinzo and Battler had stopped struggling with each other and turned in the direction of the stove. Nanjo lacked the fortitude of Kinzo to simply dip his hand in a boiling pot with a human part floating in it, so he grabbed a pair of tweezers he had in his pocket and pulled out the object George had pointed to.

Indeed, it was a key.

Upon closer examination, however, it was a key we'd seen before.

A thin, silver key with a distinct red skull painted on it.
>> No. 20908 edit
File 150843488425.png - (172.10KB , 640x480 , 23.png )
20908
Our eyes turned to Battler. Finally, I was the one who asked: "Battler... that key you took from your parents' room... You still have it on you, right?"

Battler's eyes slightly widened. "What...? Of course I do. Why? What's in those pots?!" he demanded.

"Please, let us take a look at it." I said, ignoring his plea.

Kinzo let him go, as Battler began to do as he was instructed. He reached into his suit, only to stop, confused. The sounds of shuffling could be heard, as Battler's expression went from worry to panic.

"Where...where is it? I... I know I...!"

"Calm down." I told him. "Where did you put it?"

"I-It was right here! I put it in my waistcoat pocket!"

Not willing to take any chances, we had him take off his suit jacket. I slid my hand into the pockets of Battler's waistcoat. Indeed, there was nothing in them. To be certain, I asked Battler to roll up his sleeves. I checked the pockets of his pants. I then checked the pockets of his suit jacket.

Just as he'd said - there was no sign of the key.

"Maybe... you dropped it?" Jessica suggested.

But thinking about it, there really was no point where a key he'd put in a breast pocket could've just fallen out. We all had our eyes on each other. Nobody - especially not Battler - remembered conveniently crouching down to tie his shoelaces, or anything of the sort. Plus, we'd probably have at least heard the sound of a key hitting the floor.

The other possibility was that someone had pickpocketed the key, but in Battler's own words:

"I'm pretty sure I would've noticed someone reaching into my jacket, thanks!"
>> No. 20909 edit
File 150843493680.png - (9.21KB , 640x480 , 24.png )
20909
"What about the key you found, Grandfather?"

Upon George's question, Kinzo looked at the key he'd found in the pot. "...It's the key to the VIP room."

Despite Kinzo's own words, after gathering food, we ended up making our way to the second floor, where the VIP room was. It was almost as if Kinzo's drive for self-preservation had been replaced with morbid curiosity. Or maybe, his indifference had been replaced by the need to catch the Monster that was roaming the mansion? The Monster that had killed his children and servants?

Regardless, we got to the room. It was locked.

Kinzo wasted no time in unlocking it. Thoughts of a bloodbath waiting for us on the other end started to turn my stomach again. But I had to keep it together. There was just no other choice.

The door creaked open to reveal...

...Nothing.

Well. That's not entirely accurate. What I mean by that is - that bloodbath I was anticipating wasn't there. Even after we'd searched the room, it wasn't there. No sign of the culprit, either.

We were just beginning to wonder why the culprit had left us the key to the room, when Jessica pointed to a key on the desk. It looked exactly like the key Battler had found - the other key that was in the pots - with the exception of the fact that in the stead of the red skull drawing, there was a drawing of a blue half-crescent moon.

It didn't take much to come to the realization that these keys must have come in a pair of some kind.

Then, it dawn on me. Just like it did for Kinzo.

"...The vault." I said.

"The vault?" George turned.

Kinzo's face darkened. "...It's not really a vault. Not in the true sense of the word. It's actually the library, containing old valuable books. Last year, I had the door to it changed to a double barrel lock."

"Er..." Battler's eyebrow raised.

"Think just like a normal lock, except you can't lockpick it." I explained.

It was true. The door itself was pretty plain looking. If you were to approach it from the outside, you'd find it looks somewhat like an apartment door. One key was for the lock with the knob. The other key was for a bolt. The keyhole for it was about a foot above the knob. The bolt itself, however, was more reminiscent of a chain. Which is to say, you could slightly open the door before the bolt stopped it from opening. This was no chain, however - it was pure steel. One that Kinzo had been assured was unbreakable. And the gap wasn't big enough to really do anything about. The only way to set or undo it would've been with the door closed, and with the key. Well, actually - you could've set it with a rotating lock from that was on the inside. It didn't require a key. Still, to actually lock the door - a key was absolutely necessary.

Of course, you're already starting to figure out why I'm telling you all this.

I assure you, at the time, I couldn't have possibly foreseen what awaited us when we got to the library.
>> No. 20910 edit
File 150843496368.png - (333.64KB , 640x480 , 25.png )
20910
Just as we were about to leave the VIP room and go investigate the library (like animals, following a bait), something caught my attention as I looked out the window. The rain had settled down even more by that point, and I could have a clear view of the forest surrounding the mansion.

And then, I knew.

Why the Monster had wanted us to come here.

It wasn't just for the key. He wanted us to see.

The bodies of Natsuhi and Krauss - each hanging by the neck, from a tree of their own.

I announced my discovery, but... nobody wanted to look. Not even Jessica. Her expression was blank. In a way, I suppose she might've been grateful. Of all the awful deaths, hanging was probably the most merciful one.

But that's just the thing, isn't it?

Murdering someone in cold blood - someone that didn't deserve to die - isn't merciful any way you cut it.

There was no "mercy" here.

None of these people deserved to die. For all their greed, for all their recklessness, for all the hatred running amongst each other - it didn't warrant being murdered and have their bodies desecrated and treated like just pile of flash a child could play with. And what about Kanon? What about Gohda? What had they ever done to anyone?
>> No. 20911 edit
File 150843500292.png - (9.39KB , 640x480 , 26.png )
20911
The Monster

— Who'll dig his grave?
I, said the Owl,
with my little trowel,
I'll dig his grave.

TRICK OR TREAT


In big red letters, much like on the door to Natsuhi and Krauss' room, we found it written on the door to the library.

"I've had enough of this bullshit!" Kinzo declared, taking the two keys to the room. He first tried the red key on the upper lock. That one didn't fit, but the blue one did. He turned it. Twice. The red key fit the bottom lock.

The first turn.

Click.

The second turn.

Click.

And without resistance or hesitation, he pushed the door open.

Last edited at 17/10/19(Thu)10:43:53
>> No. 20912 edit
File 150843508378.png - (131.61KB , 640x480 , 27.png )
20912
The room was dark. If I had to guess, the culprit had probably gone through the trouble of breaking all the lights, since I remember Kinzo instinctively putting his hand on the switch next to the door and it doing nothing. He tried it a few times, before giving up. The scene before him required his attention far more.

The three walls - across, left, and right of the door - all had a large bookshelf filled to the brim with books covering them. The center of the room was almost always empty. Not even a table to read on.

...I did say "always". But only because that day, there was an exception.

Two food carts had been placed, side-by-side.

Three candles were lit on each. Meaning six, in total.

And near each one was a head.

Rudolf's.
Kyrie's.
Kanon's.
Rosa's.
Genji's.
Kumasawa's.

They were all - quite literally - on a plate.

And in that moment, you may think to yourself that you can breathe a sigh of relief, strangely. That you can tell yourself deep down "the shock that I'm feeling right now is the worst of it, it'll pass". You may want to close your eyes and imagine a world where none of this happened. You may think that you've seen worse. You may think that, at least, you know the fate of everyone. That the culprit won't get you now that you're all together. You see yourself years from now, awakening from nightmares caused by scenes like these.

But you miss one crucial detail.

This is a nightmare.

And it's still happening.


As we stood at the doorway, looking at the horrific scene before us, we witnessed the culprit's most evil act that day.



The eyelids

of all six heads

began

to slowly

rise

exposing

their empty

lifeless

eyes. .




And then - we screamed.

All of us.
>> No. 20913 edit
File 150843513524.png - (294.09KB , 640x480 , 28.png )
20913
"WHAT KIND OF FUCKED UP PERSON WOULD DO THIS?!" Jessica yelled, tears running down her cheeks, as we all ran upstairs to Kinzo's study. It couldn't have happened. There's no way it could've happened.

But... but I knew what I'd seen. We all did.

"EVERYONE! KEEP MOVING!" Kinzo ordered. Even Doctor Nanjo, despite his physique, had his feet carry him as if he was running a marathon.

"WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" George grabbed his head.

"CALM DOWN!" Battler yelled. He was visibly not able to take his own advice.

"KANOOON! MOMMY! DADDY!" Jessica's face contorted and twisted into a mess of tears, snot, and more vomit. But she didn't stop running.

"WE'RE ALMOST THERE!" Kinzo said, trying to keep everyone together. His study was on the third floor. I realized I was still carrying what food we'd gathered from the kitchen earlier. It consisted of strictly non-perishables. We wouldn't have had anything to keep the food that required refrigeration cold. And Kinzo was against fruit, stating that it would've been too much of a pain to carry for so little gain. He was probably right. Any other food that existed was in the pantry - on the other side of the mansion. A trip we weren't willing to make anymore.

Even after everything I'd seen - my body was still not giving in to the shock completely. Was it the fact that I was just a cold person? Or was it my maid instincts kicking in? It sounds silly, I know, but even so - I do have to wonder. Maybe I wanted to be strong, for George's sake. Maybe the adrenaline had been flowing through my veins since the moment I'd witnessed Kanon's charred corpse and was refusing to let me fall apart completely until it was all over.

"SHIT... THAT BASTARD... THAT MOTHERFUCKER!" Battler cursed the culprit.

"I'LL... I'LL KILL HIM! I SWEAR, I'LL KILL HIM FOR THIS!" George promised.

"SHUT UP!" Kinzo shouted back, as we finally got to the last floor. We didn't stop running, of course. It wasn't over until we got to the study.
>> No. 20914 edit
File 150843515492.png - (6.76KB , 640x480 , 29.png )
20914
...And when we did, it was almost like the punchline to a perfect joke.

HA

HA

HA

Written in the same ink we'd grown accustomed to seeing.

What truly made me shiver was that, when George and I had searched through the third floor earlier - that writing wasn't there.

Kinzo scoffed. "A pathetic attempt." He declared, drawing a key from his pocket. "This is the only key to here. I was the only one that was ever in that study. The windows were all locked shut, and I know I locked the door when I left. Hell - the door auto-locks, anyway! Nice try, but you're not getting through this...!"

He opened the door and we stepped inside.

Just as an extra precaution, we searched the study and found nobody to be hiding. Kinzo made sure the door was locked. He and Battler pushed one of the bookshelves to cover the entire door - just to be sure. Although, in truth, it seemed like Kinzo was the one putting more strength into it. The windows were also different than the other ones in the mansion. These had a lock - a damn solid one, at that - and required a human hand to close and lock it. No chance of getting in from the outside.

At long last - we were safe.
>> No. 20915 edit
File 150843517512.png - (297.86KB , 640x480 , 30.png )
20915
No Safe Haven

— Who'll be the parson?
I, said the Rook,
with my little book,
I'll be the parson.


Tick-tock.

Tick-tock.

The clock in Kinzo's study ticked away. Everyone sat in their own little space in the room. George and I had mine. Battler had his. Jessica hers. Kinzo and Nanjo theirs, as they played chess.

Kinzo would occasionally say something to deafen the silence. But it was hardly as reassuring as he'd probably told himself it would be. "No matter what... the Ushiromiya legacy will not die today. I will ensure that at least some of you live through this." His attention was then immediately drawn back to the chessboard. He didn't notice the awkward glances everyone had exchanged amongst themselves upon the declaration.

"Who could've done something like this...?" Some time later, Battler wondered aloud.

"Someone must've snuck onto the island, right?" Jessica suggested. She'd managed to wipe away most of the vomit that had been on her clothing. Her eyes were still red and swollen from crying. "Y-Yesterday, before the storm, they could've gotten by a boat or something, right?"

"...But who would do something like this?" George interjected. "I can understand the Ushiromiya family making enemies over the years - fine - fair enough. But for someone to take it this far... and be this brutal... Why? Why do something like that?"

"Ahem. In addition, there's something else that I have to wonder about myself." Doctor Nanjo now spoke. Kinzo's focus did not move away from the chessboard. "If it was purely a vendetta of some kind - why are we still alive? They did all of... that last night. Why not just have killed us off, as well?"

"I think you've put too much thought into it." Kinzo remarked. "All of you had been in the guesthouse. The culprit probably didn't bother going there at all. If it was an intruder, they might've not even seen the guesthouse, depending on how they approached the mansion. I was here, in the study, all day yesterday. This morning was the first time I'd stepped out. Chances are, they simply couldn't get in. Or didn't know I was inside."

"Didn't you notice anything last night?" Battler asked. "I mean... for the culprit to have done all this without you not noticing anything..."

Kinzo's eyes shut. "This room is soundproof. In addition, I spent most of the afternoon drifting in and out of sleep." He finally looked at his friend on the other side of the board. "Doctor's orders."

"Still, though..." I now felt inclined to speak. "What if the culprit kept us alive... to mock us? After all, the writings on the doors were clearly meant to be seen by someone."

"It could've been the police." Nanjo suggested.

"Maybe... but what if the culprit is still playing some sort of twisted game here?"

George looked at me. "What do you mean?"

I didn't answer. But chances are, the thought had crossed a few people's mind's then and there.

What if the culprit was one of us?
>> No. 20916 edit
File 150843522319.png - (292.26KB , 640x480 , 31.png )
20916
It was as dusk was setting in that I realized George wasn't eating. By that point, it'd seemed that everyone's nerves had somewhat calmed. To contrast, the downpour outside began to get worse. Rain feverously tapping the windows, demanding to get in.

"...George?" I said to him. "Everything okay?"

"I'm... I'm fine." he said. But he didn't look fine. He looked pale and sickly. And I understood why, everyone did - but still... Even so...

"You have to eat something, George." Battler tried to reinforce. "We haven't eating anything since last night. That's coming to be twenty four hours now. You're going to crash, dude."

George shook his head. "I'm not hungry. Really, I--"

And then, he coughed.

And even though he'd covered his mouth, I still saw it. We all did.

The drops of blood dripping between his fingers and onto the wooden floor.

"P-Poison!" Jessica shouted, pointing at George. I jumped to my feet, my thoughts no different. But George raised his hand, telling us to stop.

"It's not poison." He said, taking a handkerchief from his pocket and wiping his mouth. "It's... heh." He chuckled. "It's not poison."

He then looked at me.

"Wh... What do you mean? What do you mean - it's not poison?!" Before I even realized it, I was already shouting in panic. The sense of safety had gradually shattered my nerves.

"...I was going to tell you. I swear." He stood up, and took my hand.

"Tell me what...?" My eyes widened in terror. Somehow, I knew that whatever he was going to say next would leave me far more devastated than any cruel murderer ever could. Well. Maybe that's not true. No, that's probably not true. It still wasn't as bad as what we'd seen. But his words still pierced straight through my heart.

"...I'm daying, Sayo."

Lung cancer. Inoperable. Not even the famous doctors Eva had demanded be brought in could do anything about it. I asked how. I pointed out he never smoked in his life. He said it happened. I still asked how. He'd never shown any signs prior to that point. He said he knew how to hide it. How to make the smaller coughs unnoticable. I wanted to know how, anyway. I pointed out that he would've told me. There's no way he would've kept that from me. But he said he had. He said he was sorry.

I then noticed, in the corner of my eye, the way Nanjo was looking at him. He knew. He apologized as well. But if Nanjo had known, then Kinzo must've known, as well. And he had. Thankfully, Battler and Jessica seemed just as surprised as me.

Not nearly as upset, though.

I punched him. I punched a sick, dying man to the ground. It was just one punch, but it did the trick. He wasn't knocked out. He didn't seem that surprised or hurt. Nobody did anything in fear of me doing it again. I guess they recognized impulse when they saw it. George merely got up, smiled.

Then, he coughed again.

"...We were prepared for this situation." Nanjo said.

It's at this point that I should elaborate that Kinzo's study consisted of the main living space, a bathroom and a bedroom. As it turned out, Kinzo had arranged for medical equipment to be installed in his bedroom, in case George got too ill and needed emergency treatment. He was also supposed to go through a session of chemotherapy, administered by doctor Nanjo. When we'd searched the study to see if anyone was hiding, we'd all assumed it had been for Kinzo.

"...I suppose it's good timing, isn't it? I was supposed to take it somewhere around this time, wasn't I?" George smiled.

Nanjo nodded.

"As I've said. I've been here this entire time. The killer couldn't have possibly tampered with the equipment."

Of course - my immediate thought was that if Nanjo was the culprit, he could've simply sabotaged the equipment then and there. I wanted to object and say he could just take it some other time. But I then reasoned that if Nanjo had been the culprit, and the police determined his cause of death to be related to the equipment, Nanjo would be the only suspect. Hell - if George suddenly dropped dead - he would've been the only suspect, anyway. It would've been a bad move. Besides - I had no reason to suspect the doctor. Or anyone in the study, for that matter.

So, the two men went into the bedroom, and closed the door behind them.

As I understood it, the administration took a few hours.

I wanted to wait for him until he walked out. When I knew he was safe. I wanted him to put his head in my lap and rest.

I ended up falling asleep in less than an hour.
>> No. 20917 edit
File 150843524832.png - (352.51KB , 640x480 , 32.png )
20917
The few bits of my dream I recall right before I came to was me standing in the mansion's rose garden. The roses were doused in bright, yellow gold. Their flower petals began to rip apart, as a strong and loud wind past through. I could hear the sound of rain - although I couldn't see any signs of it. The sky was pitch-black. Stars had been replaced by the shining petals floating in the air. Instead of falling to the ground, however, they chose to go dance up to the heavens.

In front of me, on the other side of the garden, I saw Kanon.

He smiled.

I couldn't say anything.

"niboR kcoC dellik ohW?" he asked me.
>> No. 20918 edit
File 150843527091.png - (357.26KB , 640x480 , 33.png )
20918
"Fuck... sh..." I came to the sound of someone cursing in the distance. Shuffling around me. Or maybe just around the room. "He... ll... o? Anyone? Fuck!"

It didn't take me long to realize it was Battler.

I forced myself to open my eyes. I was in the study. At first glance, nothing seemed to be out of place. The bookshelf was still covering the door. Kinzo was sitting in his chair, behind his desk. ...But no sign of Jessica. Battler was going up and down the study. He'd peek into the bathroom. Groan audibly and then move to the bedroom. "Hello?!" he'd ask, before going back to the bathroom, checking it again.

Then - he turned his attention to me.

"...Hey." he told me. "Hey, wake up!" He sounded angry.

"Ugh... wh... what happened?" I asked. "What's...?"

"George, Jessica and doctor Nanjo are gone! I can't find them anywhere!" he stopped, looking over at Kinzo. "...But no. No, it's even worse than that...!"

"Huh...?" I asked, as I looked over to Kinzo once again. He was sitting in his chair, just like I'd seen before. ...But it was only then, when my eyes were fully opened that I saw it. One of Kinzo's decorative stakes sticking out of his eye. His head was tilted backwards. His other eye wide open. His mouth left hanging, and motionless.

He was dead.

It was like a jolt of electricity had passed through my body.

I jumped to my feet. "Wh... what on Earth...?! Master Kin... Ge... J... WHAT?!"

"YEAH, EXACTLY! WHAT THE FUCK?!" Battler began to move around the room again. "I... I must've fallen asleep! When I came to, things were... things were like this! Have you been asleep the entire time?!"

"Y-Yeah!" I said. "I feel asleep shortly after doctor Nanjo and George went into the bedroom! Are they really not there...?" And upon saying that, I peeked into the bedroom, just as Battler had. It didn't look any different than it had the last time I'd looked into it.

It was rather small. There was a bed. Next to it the medical equipment. It'd looked like it'd been prepared for someone to lie down and have a chem bag administered to them through an IV. The bag, however, looked only half-empty. Was George not supposed to take all of it? Or were they interrupted by something? I stepped in and searched it. Nobody seemed to be hiding. The room had no windows, either, so it's not as if they could've reacted to something happening outside.

The only other thing of interest seemed to be a phone in the corner of the room. The only places it could've connected to were other phones in the mansion. However, as I picked up the receiver, I realized that someone had cut the cord going behind the stand it was on. No dial tone.

I remembered Kinzo had another phone in the living area, on the desk. But I quickly saw the situation was the same. That cord had been cut, as well.

"Shit... where are they...?" Battler was still running around, trying to figure out what to do. At one point, almost comically, he ended up slipping. "MOTHER... FUCKER... Ngh..." he groaned as he stood back up.

I then examined Kinzo's corpse. The only things I found on him were the two colored keys, the key to the VIP room, and the key to the study.

I checked the windows. All were closed and locked.

I looked in the bathroom. No signs of anyone, either.

"...Do you think the killer somehow got in?" Battler asked me. He glanced at the bookcase. "I mean, with that thing there..." He put his hand to his chin. "Actually, even if he had... how would he have escaped?"

Before he even had a chance to finish that thought, I'd already grabbed one of the decorative stakes from the wall. They might've been decorative, but they were undeniably sharp. I pointed it in Battler's direction.

"H-Hey, whoa, whoa! What...?" his eyes widened.

"It's simple, isn't it?!" I yelled. "The killer DIDN'T LEAVE THE STUDY! Suppose Jessica was the one that actually fell asleep after me. It would've been only you and Kinzo in there. You could've taken one of the stakes and caught him in a moment where he let his guard down. He said the study was soundproof - that might apply to the rooms between here, as well. So, George and Nanjo wouldn't have heard anything. You then could've entered the bedroom. Nanjo was an old man, hardly fit to defend himself. And George would've been weak from the chemo treatment! You could've then moved the bookshelf out of the way, and carried everyone out - doing God knows what to them - returning here, putting the shelf back, and pretending like nothing at all had happened! Playing me for a fucking fool!

Playing another sick, twisted game!

ISN'T THAT RIGHT, USHIROMIYA BATTLEEEEEEER?!"
>> No. 20919 edit
File 15084354081.png - (357.46KB , 640x480 , 34.png )
20919
He had no rebuttal. He merely walked around the room. He looked at me. He looked at the stake in my hand. Then back at me. Then at Kinzo's liquor cabinet. I shouted at him. Told him to get away. To get out. He calmly poured himself some vodka. And he downed it in a gulp.

He sighed.

Calmly, he walked over to the door.

Without a word, but with some labor, he pushed the bookshelf aside. He didn't need a key to unlock the study door, so he merely stepped out. Leaving a clicking sound behind him, as the door automatically locked.

And just like that, I was left alone.

With the stench of the corpse.

I regretted not stabbing him then and there.

I also knew the others were probably dead, as well.
...Yet, I had to find them.

I owed it to them.

At the very least, I owed it to George.

So, I took the key to the study, in case I would need to bunker down again, and left.

Last edited at 17/10/19(Thu)10:50:08
>> No. 20920 edit
File 150843547177.png - (415.00KB , 640x480 , 35.png )
20920
The Crescendo

— Do you think any of this really mattered?

I found Nanjo and Jessica in Jessica's room. Jessica was on one side of the room, her body next to her bed. She'd been shot in the stomach. Nanjo was on the other side, slouched against the wall - a bullet hole in his head. The room was unlocked. No trace of a gun or the culprit.

I cursed myself for not thinking to suggest Kinzo we take the guns and keep them from the culprit's hands. Then again - if all evidence was to be believed - it wouldn't have helped us one bit.

The rain tapped louder and louder against the windows. It wasn't even tapping anymore - it sounded more like a chant ancient societies used when guiding a soul to the afterlife.

I needed to find George.

If nothing else, I had to save him.

He had to have been alive.

He just had to have been.

And just as the thought crossed my mind - I heard it. A male scream echoing through the mansion. By that point, I was on the first floor. Given that the scream had come from below me, I descended down to the main hall.

...And that's where I saw him.

George, lying in a pool of his own blood.

But, he was still alive. Clutching to his chest. Gargling blood. Squirming in that puddle of his.

I rushed over to him, tears in my eyes. I dropped the stake and dropped to my knees.

"G-George...?"

His eyes were losing light. "Sh... Sy... Grggf..." He couldn't talk. The only thing that came out of his mouth was blood. I looked at his chest. He'd been stabbed several times in the chest. His lungs were being filled with blood. And given the amount of blood he was in...

"Oh, God... George..."

"Ghhr..."

"Please, no..." I pleaded. "George... please... I... I'll go get th--"

"Ghhhrggldkk! Ghhr! Ghk..."

...And then, silence.

He stopped moving.

"G-George...? George, please... No. No!" I began to shake him "George! GEORGE!" No. No, I couldn't believe it. He couldn't have been dead. Those couldn't have been those last words. It couldn't have ended like that. No. He deserved so much more than that. Why hadn't he told me he was dying? I would've understood. We still could've spent that time together. We should've spent that time together! We had a right to live that time hoping for a future we knew we would never have. We had a right to still laugh and run away from all of it and be happy. We had a right to hold hands as he took his treatments. We had a right to be married, and have a small ceremony. We had a right to be a family, for however small of a time we had.

And yet... The Monster had taken all of that from me.

From us.

...
>> No. 20921 edit
File 150843554435.png - (100.61KB , 640x480 , 36.png )
20921
I picked up the stake and began to move around in the hallway.

My eyes stopped at a portrait that had been hanging there for years. A portrait I'd passed so many times next to in all the years and never thought anything of. The portrait of the Great Witch Beatrice, said to control the island.

Perhaps she'd been the Monster I was after? The Monster that'd taken them all away...?

...

I began to laugh.

I don't know why.

I guess it was just funny.

And the more I thought about how strange it was that I was giggling in a situation likethat, at a time like that - well - the funnier it got! And the more I laughed!

Eventually, my laugh turned into a menacing cackle not even the rain or thunder could drown out.

I began to wander the mansion, my footsteps echoing its walls.

...I guess it was just me and Battler.

And I also found that funny, for some reason.

"Battleeeeeeer... Come out, come out wherever you aaaaaareeeeee..." I began to chant, as my soul left my body, and only a cold human shell remained, ready to head into the darkness that fed the desires of the twisted heart responsible for it all.

________________________________________________

And, that's it.
>> No. 20939 edit
File 150848223949.png - (245.26KB , 338x516 , zepthreat.png )
20939
Alright, let's do this. I'll begin by playing this safe...

Betting 1 chip

At least one of the people who seemed to have their head on a plate in the library was still alive at that point.

Honestly, I don't think this is what's going on, but it's best to rule out the obvious before all else.
>> No. 20940 edit
File 150848280939.png - (203.42KB , 587x600 , bea_a31_akuwarai1.png )
20940
(Number of chips will be tracked in my posts)

>>20939

Before I start giving out reds...

Assuming only one person was secretly alive - how did they get the other heads to open their eyes? Same if more than one person was still alive - how did it happen in unison? Not to mention, it worked out for the culprit pretty well that they didn't end up saying anything.

Given that you can reasonably assume at least 3 of the heads were from legitimate dead bodies, you'll always end up with the issue of at least one head's eyes opening.

...Hey. Can't go out giving out reds left and right so soon out of the gate.
>> No. 20942 edit
>>20940
Irrelevant, dead head open eyes doesn't mean that none of the heads were alive. I'm not solving the trick for all of them but just... Ya know. Some (or one) of them.

The rest, if this is so, I can deal with l88r.

And stuff.
>> No. 20943 edit
File 150848500524.png - (90.17KB , 350x358 , IMG_4456.png )
20943
>>20942
Good, good. It's important to realize I can mislead you with my own reasoning.

Unfortunately, it won't stop you from losing points. The six heads had all truly been cut off from their respective bodies! None of the six were alive at the time!

Last edited at 17/10/20(Fri)00:38:58
>> No. 20944 edit
File 150848621233.jpg - (40.71KB , 603x466 , shut up adachi.jpg )
20944
>>20943
Good beans! But I want to contest that red. Just because the heads on the plate are dead, doesn't mean that the body they supposedly came from is dead.

My blue was "At least one of the people who seemed to have their head on a plate in the library was still alive at that point."

You've denied that any of the heads on the plates were living people, however "one of the people who seemed to have their head on a plate in the library" could still be alive if a head was fake or, if we were to take your red as just standard wordplay, the head of someone else (maybe dressed up to look like that victim?) I'm not actually arguing either of these theories, just using them to demonstrate "The six heads had all truly been cut off from their respective bodies! None of the six (respective bodies) were alive at the time!" =/= not "At least one of the people who seemed to have their head on a plate in the library was still alive at that point."

Basically, your red denies my blue only if it's necessarily true that the heads on the plate were in fact the heads of the people they seem to have come from.
>> No. 20945 edit
File 149012872536.png - (874.45KB , 1715x1136 , IMG_4457.png )
20945
>>20944

I like that! I like it a lot!

However, the heads on the carts were all real human heads, and they unmistakably came from the bodies one would assume they would have come from. There is no room for mistaken identity here! (Or tricky dicky wordplay.)

I know this one's worded a bit weird but I couldn't think of another way to put it. Simply put - no deceptions here. Really was their heads.
>> No. 20946 edit
File 150848805346.png - (181.74KB , 710x590 , all these prudes.png )
20946
>>20945
Alright, fine. I'll Let It Die on PS4 by Suda51.

Let's see what else we have here...

Bet 1 chip

While no master key exists, there exist keys that are used or can be used to open more than one door.
>> No. 20947 edit
>>20946

Every door has one key and only one key that can be used to lock or unlock it. Conversely, a key can be used on only one door. In other words, no two doors that both share a single key for whatever reason and no multiple keys that can lock/unlock one door. This even applies to the library, since one key actually locks the door, while the other sets the latch.

And now, to seal it all up, no duplicate keys exist!
>> No. 20958 edit
File 150864447310.jpg - (85.26KB , 851x315 , my ordinary lenny.jpg )
20958
Alright, I think I've got something. Not something in game, but a way to play by the rules while also confirming a key thing I've wanted to confirm this whole time.

Bet: 3 chips
The culprit is dead by the final line of the story

Bet: 3 chips
The culprit physically shot Jessica and Nanjo. In person,
no automated traps or tricks or the like.

>> No. 20959 edit
File 15086571053.png - (204.81KB , 587x600 , bea_a21_def2.png )
20959
>>20958
I see no reason to contest.

PASS
PASS


Last edited at 17/10/22(Sun)00:25:19
>> No. 20960 edit
File 150868177955.png - (83.05KB , 250x250 , Lovely Reimu.png )
20960
>>20959
Alright, now to take a gamble and go...

Bet: 2

Shannon's suspicion of Battler at the end is intrinsically linked to the culprit's motive.
>> No. 20961 edit
File 150868458424.png - (204.43KB , 587x600 , bea_a11_nayamu2.png )
20961
>>20960

Bit... abstract. If you're saying that the killer's ultimate motive had been to make Shannon suspect Battler - that is not the case. The culprit's motive for the massacre had nothing to do with making Shannon suspect Battler as a killer. For that matter, the killer's motive for the killings had nothing to do with Shannon ultimately disliking or suspecting Battler.

One could argue that, assuming Battler is innocent, the killer had constructed the final closed room for the sake of Shannon suspecting Battler, which is fair enough. But as far as your blue suggesting that it was the ultimate motive behind everything - no, that was not it.

Last edited at 17/10/22(Sun)08:05:06
>> No. 21116 edit
File 150979955951.jpg - (88.22KB , 600x1070 , yuuka11.jpg )
21116
Looks like I'm doing this now... rip.

Bet: 1 chip
Kinzo's death/people vanishing:
The culprit's body was still inside the study.
In other words - no issue with everything being found blocked/locked.

>> No. 21117 edit
File 150983079053.png - (184.67KB , 479x600 , bea_a13_akuwarai1.png )
21117
>>21116
I see no reason to deny you something like that. Have it your way, for now.

PASS

This is the part where you realize where the real gamble in all of this lies.
>> No. 21118 edit
File 151008472241.jpg - (134.78KB , 850x850 , yuuka12.jpg )
21118
Bet 2 chips:
Kanon's locked room:
The culprit put the key inside the box after breaking into the room. The whole burning contraption was a distraction so they'd have time for it.

>> No. 21119 edit
File 15100955957.png - (189.37KB , 481x600 , bea_a12_def2.png )
21119
>>21118
Wouldn't that just be lovely?

The key to Natsuhi and Krauss' room was already in Natsuhi and Krauss' room by the time the group had reached the door.

Last edited at 17/11/07(Tue)15:01:05
>> No. 21120 edit
File 149013029149.jpg - (47.23KB , 700x700 , yuukaglass.jpg )
21120
Well that doesn't rule out it was put into the box after they broke in, so my blue is still valid. They put it into the room via some other, imprecise way beforehand, like through the gap under the door or through a window which they then closed from outside. Then when inside the room, they picked it up and put it into the box.
>> No. 21121 edit
File 150983079053.png - (184.67KB , 479x600 , bea_a13_akuwarai1.png )
21121
>>21120
The key to Natsuhi and Krauss' room was in the box it was found in by the time the group arrived at the door to Krauss and Natsuhi's room. This, of course, refers to the moment before the door was broken down.
>> No. 21122 edit
Bet 1 chip
The old windows can just be closed from outside.
>> No. 21123 edit
File 151034890087.png - (204.58KB , 587x600 , bea_a11_1_warai8.png )
21123
>>21122
You live in false hope.

The windows - all windows - must be closed from the inside. Which is to say, no outside force can close any of the windows.
>> No. 21124 edit
File 151035597927.png - (550.78KB , 800x696 , yuukafire.png )
21124
Saying it for all windows? How generous.
...I mean, I could have guessed as much, but to some degree certainty seems important in this game.

Bet 2 chips
A window was closed by some contraption on the inside after the culprit left.
I hope you won't only let it count if I get the exact specifics right, but here's my take:
A weight was attached to the window closest to the corpse-to-be-burnt. This weight pulled the frame down after the culprit left through it. This was done near the body, and whatever the weight was, it burned in the fire.
>> No. 21125 edit
File 150868458424.png - (204.43KB , 587x600 , bea_a11_nayamu2.png )
21125
>>21124
I can accept that explanation for the time being.

PASS
>> No. 21126 edit
File 15104395754.jpg - (137.15KB , 850x1147 , yuuka14.jpg )
21126
Well no freaking idea how to approach the second locked room so let's just put that one off for later.

Bet 1 chip
The 'HA HA HA' had been written on the door before everyone grouped up, but wasn't yet visible when Shannon and George checked.
The culprit used some sort of trick paint to delay its visibility.

>> No. 21127 edit
File 150898981010.png - (207.62KB , 587x600 , bea_a11_akuwarai2.png )
21127
>>21126
The 'HA HA HA' had not existed on Kinzo's door when the door was looked at by Shannon and George as they searched the third floor! Of course, neither of the two could've written the text at the time without the other noticing!
>> No. 21128 edit
File 151052986925.jpg - (575.08KB , 850x959 , yuuka13.jpg )
21128
Well damn, that one makes things a whole lot more complicated.
I'll uh, save that one for later as well.

Bet 1 chip
The skull key in the pot was not the same object as the key Battler found earlier.


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