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21159 No. 21159 edit
UNIMPORTANT

"Riiche! Riiche, hold up!" called Gaap, stopping Beatrice's escape attempt to a nice spa.

Sighing, Beatrice turned around. "Yes?"

Gaap, suddenly confronted, looked a little lost for words. "Well, I was just wondering if you had some time to think about my proposal?"

Beatrice frowned thoughtfully. "Which one was that again?"

The demon sighed. "You know. I mean, yeah, it's great that we're putting on the shows that we've been doing, but we should bring in something flashier, something hip, something..."

"Commercial?" the witch completed, dryly.

"Your word, not mine," said Gaap, grinning mischievously.

The witch sighed in an exaggerated manner. "Come on, Gaap, you know I don't like pulling cheap tricks to broaden my appeal..."

"Musical."

"That was art! Plus, you should have seen Goat-kun's face..."

"Twine Ball."

"A homage to a classic of the genre!"

"Come on, Riiche! We can't just keep doing the same old boards and expect the audience to keep coming back. We need a fresh twist!"

Beatrice frowned, then winked. "Gotcha, you old prankster. I agree with you. I've been working on a new idea for a bit now, that I think is something like you had in mind." She pulled a script out from behind her back. "I'm calling in an old friend, and we're going to put on a show like we've never done before."

Gaap looked at the title, then at Beatrice. "Seriously? You know him?"

Beatrice smirked. "And I make sure to see him once a year. He's already agreed. We're going to need some serious makeup, though. He's...changed, since those days."

Gaap flipped through the script, and grinned. "I think we'll manage. This should be fun." The two friends laughed together, walking down the hall.

Two months later, the stage was set, the actors were ready, and the guest star stood on stage, ready to begin. The lights came up. The show began.

Last edited at 18/06/18(Mon)18:10:00
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>> No. 21160 edit
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>>21159

RULES

I've created this classic gameboard in response to a Game Jam requesting a murder mystery with the theme, "Time," and I put it forth to challenge anyone who wants to join in.

-Once the game is complete, any number of blue truths can be used to determine how the crimes were done. However, only one attempt at naming the culprit per player will be allowed.
-Information about the crime scenes, the suspects, and really any facts may be requested. However, it is purely my decision as to whether I respond.
-I'm not going to use honorifics. Sorry, I'm just bad with them.
-As this mystery is told in the first-person from the perspective of the Detective, anything shown happened. Anything not shown is up to interpretation.
-The detective is not Furudo Erika-level, and does not have Detective's Authorty.
-UNIMPORTANT sections are utterly unimportant, they are just there for comedy and because I like having my games reference each other somehow.
-I won't prohibit "shotgun blue truths" where a bunch of theories are given at once, however I will discourage them. Giving them one at a time allows other players chances to respond as well.
-I'll try to respond as often as I can, but I have a pretty busy life so I can't promise anything beyond that I will keep going until the mystery is solved or everyone gives up.

Have fun!

Last edited at 18/06/18(Mon)18:08:53
>> No. 21161 edit
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>>21160

The bell was ringing. I’m not really sure why she was bothering, I knew that we were in trouble. Sparks were shooting from pretty much every console, the readings showing on the screens were absolute chaos, and the inertial dampers were struggling to keep me from smearing myself against the walls.

I had no idea how I’d gotten in this predicament. I’d just been travelling, minding my own business, and then everything went absolutely bonkers.

Still, I thought, that’s how it usually happens, doesn’t it?

Miraculously, I spotted a viable landing spot, that thankfully proved to be only moderately obstructed by a local storm, and brought her in for a landing. Once everything had stopped shaking, I took a moment to look over what my screens could show me.

That can’t be right. The sensors must be fried again. External camera feed? Down. Blast.

“Ah well. Rest up for a bit, sexy. I’ll be right back.” Checking over my personal inventory, I was satisfied that I was covered for every contingency. At least, I was as covered as I ever was. Made it more fun this way.

Popping open the door, I looked around. “Huh, nice mansion,” I muttered to myself. I seemed to be in an entrance hall of some kind. I could see some stairs off to the side, large doors in front of me, hallway to either side, and outside a tempest seemed to be raging. I took a few steps out of the door, locked it behind me, and looked around. Aside from the monstrous storm outside, things seemed fairly quiet. Still, there didn’t seem to be dust around, so it wasn’t abandoned…

I saw a grandfather clock against the wall. 11:58. Nearly midnight, wherever I am, judging by the dark outside… Hmm? What’s that, then?

What that was turned out to be footsteps on the stairway. Hurried footsteps. Rounding the banister came a young man, Japanese descent, probably in his late teens. He was rather well-dressed, though the white suit probably pegged this as being sometime in the 80’s. What was more, I could have sworn he looked familiar, though the lighting and the lightning weren’t helping with that. Judging by his harried appearance, he had more to worry about than his personal style, though. In his hands he carried a Winchester rifle.

Oh where have you put me this time, old girl? Still, best to introduce myself.

I did a little step forward so that he’d see the motion, and smiled broadly so he’d know I was a friend. “Hello, I’m the Doctor. Nasty weather we’re having, isn’t it?”

The young man froze in his tracks and his eyes went wide. More to the point, he brought the gun up, and pointed it at me. “Stop it with the amnesia routine, Doctor! It had to be you! Why’d you kill them?! Why’d you kill my family?”

“...I beg your pardon?”
>> No. 21162 edit
>>21161
>> No. 21163 edit
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>>21162

“You heard me!” he shouted, keeping the gun aimed at me as he descended the stairs slowly. “Ever since you arrived, you’ve been off. You talk about things that don’t make sense. You run off so no one can find you. And the bodies...the bodies in impossible places… I heard you, you know. I heard you when you thought no one was listening. You were muttering about paradoxes, causation loops...and time travel. That’s how you did it, isn’t it, Doctor? There was never a witch. Only you!”

Generally, when a human is talking crazily at you and has a gun, I’ve found it’s best to remain calm. For some reason, they don’t know what to do with that. “Well, I admit I’ve known a few witches in my time, but I’ve never really had the privilege to call myself-”

He fired. The shot was wide, I could only assume deliberately, but it made me dodge a little backwards. When I didn’t bump up against the TARDIS, I ended up losing my balance and falling.

“I said stop it with the amnesia routine! You’re some kind of time traveler, and you came here to torment my family. And...and...”

He kept talking, but for a moment I had stopped paying attention to him. There I was, sitting on my rump in the space where my TARDIS should have been, and my eyes had been caught by a painting that was hanging on the wall I had parked in front of. It was a portrait of a beautiful blonde woman, reclining in an opulent Western gown. It was a portrait I’d studied a replica of, a few times, when I was feeling contemplative. This, though, this was the real deal. It all made sense. The storm, the mansion, the portrait. Why I’d recognized the young man who was shouting things at me that were probably important. This was the island Rokkenjima. It was early October, 1986.

In short, it was the time and place no Time Lord should ever go.

I blinked.
>> No. 21164 edit
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>>21163

I was somewhere else. Somewhere...purple, was my first impression. As I took in my surroundings, I realized I was in some kind of tea room, complete with two steaming cups sitting on the small table.

“Welcome, Doctor,” said a female voice behind me, originating from a point I had been sure was empty until a moment ago. Spinning around, I saw her. The woman from the portrait was again before me, but this time she was real flesh and blood, as far as I could tell.

“Beatrice,” I whispered, unable to keep the awe out of my voice.

“Oh? I of course know you, as I know all pieces that stumble onto my gameboard, but it’s interesting you know me.”

I gulped slightly. “I’ve, ah, read some of your works,” I replied, straightening up and brushing my hand back over my hair as I tried to collect myself. “You, though...and this place...where am I? And why did Battler Ushiromiya think that I was the culprit?”

The Golden Witch laughed, and gestured that I come with her over to the window. Drawing back the curtain, she revealed a massive swirling void of purple and black, and out in that void were dozens, no, hundreds of twisting, writhing rivers of space-time. Some were thrashing about, unfixed and wild, while a few were joined together at a point of red far away, both spatially and temporally. For an instant I felt like I was a child again, gazing into the Untempered Schism, and I felt the urge to run build within me. I was older, now, though, so instead I looked away, at her, and tried to process what I’d seen.

“The eye of the storm,” I said. “There were tales told by the Time Lords. Tales of points of space-time that are the very opposite of fixed points. Places where literally anything possible was happening, and it was all happening simultaneously. We call them Probability Voids. Some of our finest minds theorized that there would be a place in the middle of them where all the chaos would cancel itself out, but anyone who ever tried to reach them was never heard from again…”

She was smiling slightly as I took out my sonic screwdriver and began scanning her as I kept talking. “Rokkenjima, Earth, between October 4th and 5th, 1986. That was one such void. I shouldn’t have been anywhere near it, though. I was going for 1954, the first Godzilla. So how did the TARDIS get pulled into…” I fell silent, as I saw what the screwdriver was telling me.

“That’s how, Doctor,” she said, continuing to smile. “Your ship is as much psychically-driven as manually, and with the overall fabric here so very frayed, a slight nudge got your ship circling the metaphorical drain.”

“And you’re the perfect entity to give it that nudge, aren’t you?” I asked, cursing my own stupidity. “A psychic construct, created from infinite versions of the residents of Rokkenjima, each with just a little bit of belief. Some more psychically in-tune, some less, but when you have enough of them, all thinking your name...no. Praising, that was the word, yes? Well I can attest to the power of that. And so here you sit, a certainty in the middle of infinite possibility.” I thought a bit more, and came to another conclusion. “That’d also let you manipulate all these, what do you call them, gameboards? At least to a mild degree, directing events within them.”

“Brilliantly worked out, Doctor. You’re as smart as you think you are, I guess,” she said with a cocky smirk. “That’s something few beings can claim to be. And yes, I do at least have some claim to your surface thoughts, which is indeed how I know who you are, what you are, and what that lovely little ship of yours does. Or rather, what that little ship of -mine- does.”

That got my attention. “What do you mean?”

She gestured to a door. A rather dapper butler beside it bowed, and pulled it open. On the other side was a small room, and in the center of that room, being obviously displayed by two young ladies with a distinct lack of pants, was my TARDIS. The witch smiled. “The instant you stepped out of it and onto my board, I took it off the table and brought it here. You see, Doctor, I’m tired of playing this game. I want out. To do that, I needed your ship. We’ve already proven that I can influence it, even from the outside. I’m sure with a little effort I can learn to pilot it even better than you.”

I frowned. “And what do you plan to do with me?”

Beatrice looked at me with a pointed gaze. “Well, that depends on you. You can either help me escape...or you can take my place here. I doubt you’d find it as entertaining as I do though, considering you’d have no connection to the gameboards. You could just watch them die, over and over…” She trailed off, looking at me with eyes that held a dangerous hint of madness in them. “So what will it be?”

I thought, my brain working at breakneck speed. I was in her realm, which made me nearly powerless. However, to release a psychic construct on an unsuspecting universe, one with the ability to time travel? The damage that a homicidal maniac could do with a TARDIS, a maniac that existed purely as mental energy, in point of fact? One that would never die, never stop… No. I couldn’t let that happen. So I looked for a third option. What did I know about her, from reading all the material I had? All that she’d said? She saw herself as a witch. Magical powers. Yet she called the realities ‘gameboards.’ That was incongruous. Why gameboards? Games. Witch. Boredom. Thrill. Yes! A flash of a recent memory, a dark-haired Lady flying a bus into the London sky, flickered through my mind, but I shook it away.

I turned to the witch and grinned broadly, which seemed to throw her off-kilter for a moment. Good. “You know, it occurs to me, you and I are somewhat alike. We’ve seen so much, been around for so very long… always make it a habit of skipping the boring days. That’s the best thing about having a time machine. I can go from one thrilling location to the next. You, though, you’ve just had these boards of yours. Any game can get boring after a while, which is why you want out, like you said. Still, it’d be a shame to start a game and not see it through, right? So how about we finish it out, and spice it up a little?”

Her eyebrow cocked. “I’m listening.”

“A wager, then,” I said. “We play it through. If I can’t beat your game, find out the truth, then you take my TARDIS, and I’ll even instruct you on its use. If I win, though… If I can beat you at your own game, then you let me go.” Her eyes flashed with a predatory fire, and I knew I had her, even though she put on a show of considering my offer.

“Alright, Doctor,” she finally said. “I agree. I’ll place you back on the gameboard. If you can prove how a human could do it...not a witch, not a Time Lord, but a human… You will be free to go. I’ll even give you some help! As you say, I can influence the pieces somewhat. Until you return to just prior to midnight, with poor enraged Battler pointing a gun at you, I shall give you the rank of Detective. As such, what would normally be their hesitation and suspicion towards you will be drastically lowered. However, you are obviously much more intelligent than the other pieces on the board, and you doubtlessly have knowledge of the future, past the realm of my influence, or even my knowledge. My sight ends at midnight on the second day. It’d hardly be fair if I couldn’t throw in a little extra difficulty.”

It was my turn. “I’m listening.”

“You’re a piece, yet not from my game. Your body is probably soaked in some kind of residue from travelling in time and space, something that would make the fabric of space-time itself weaker around you, yes?”

“Void stuff, sure, along with all manner of other things.”

“Excellent. I sensed what I could do with you as a piece the moment you got here. Here’s my play, Doctor. You are going to experience this board like you experience all the universe: out of sequence. I’ll be popping you in and out, placing you where I want you to be, when I want you to be there. I’ll be fair, I promise, but that doesn’t mean I have to be nice about it. Do you agree?”

I didn’t think I’d be able to haggle her away from this. Judging by what Battler had said earlier, I’d already agreed to it. “Agreed.”

A maniacal grin spread over her face. “Perfecto! Alright then, Doctor! I’ll see you when the clock chimes midnight!” She cackled, as the reality of the tearoom swirled away, and I was lost in blackness.
>> No. 21165 edit
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>>21164

When I was aware of my surroundings again, the first thing I noticed was the smell. I was in an alone in an ornate study, and it fairly reeked of absinthe. I didn’t have much time to soak in the details, however, as someone was pounding on the door and shouting.

“Father! Father! Open the door! Something has happened at dinner! Father!”

She didn’t lie when she said she’d thrust me right in the thick of it. How was I going to explain who I was and why I was here? The pounding had stopped, but I heard quieter discussions going on outside the door, and then the sound of a key getting placed in a lock. In desperation I ran to a window, unlocked it, and pushed it wide. However the fall was greater than I’d guessed. I might have been able to withstand it, but no human could have without serious injury, and I didn’t want to push my luck. That was when I heard the click of the lock, and the door opened.

“Please excuse us, Fath-” began the man I recognized from photos as being Krauss Ushiromiya, but then he froze as he saw me.

Before I could stop myself, purely out of habit, I broke into a grin and said, “Hello, I’m the Doctor. Don’t mind me.”

“Doctor, wha-? How?” he stammered, and then Eva Ushiromiya pushed past him into the room.

“Doctor! How on Earth did you get into our father’s study? And where is he?” she demanded.

Ah, so this isn’t the earliest I come in. Well played, Beatrice. I frantically thought for a moment. “Well, I clambered up a drainpipe. Yep. I thought that I could maybe get in from the outside, so I shimmied up, tested that window, and found it unlocked. It wasn’t easy, but I made it work.”

Hideyoshi Ushiromiya grasped his wife’s shoulder. “Calm down, Eva. Doctor, why did you greet us again? Is your memory having problems again?”

“Ah, yep. Can’t remember much of anything from the past, um, several minutes. I just figured that’s how I must have gotten in here, actually,” I said, scrambling for a conversational foothold. “I don’t even remember if your father was here when I got here, to tell you the truth.”

“He must not have been,” said Natsuhi, Krauss’ wife. “I make sure the windows to this room are always locked when I attend to Father, as I know the servants do as well. If the window was unlocked to allow you entry, then Father must have left through it, no doubt to avoid his younger children and their vulture-like habits.”

Eva shot her a glare, but my attention was on Kyrie. She was still outside the room, but she was watching me intently I couldn’t read her expression, but it was unsettling, to say the least. After I broke off the impromptu staring contest, I helped them all search the room top to bottom, but we didn’t find Kinzo. I couldn’t say I was surprised. From what I knew, they would never find him again. However, I took a moment to take a quick count. Krauss and Natsuhi, Eva and Hideyoshi, Rudolf and Kyrie, Rosa, Dr. Nanjo, and Genji were all here. It hadn’t happened yet, then. The incident at dinner was probably the letter from the witch, but I had to be sure. Once everyone had filed out of the room, after making sure the window was relocked and Genji checked to make sure the autolock engaged, I managed to take Rosa to one side.

“Rosa, sorry, but could you give me a quick refresher on what happened and where everyone else is?” I asked.

“Oh, right, your memory. At least you remember there is an everyone else, yes? Well, my daughter and the other children are in the guest house with Kumasawa, and Gohda, Shannon, and Kanon are here, helping to lock up. We’re wanting to make sure that no crazy 19th...er, 20th, I suppose, person tries to kill us.”

“I see. May I see the letter?”

She shrugged helplessly. “Sorry, I think Krauss has it, and I’m not sure where he wandered off to. Now if you’ll excuse me, I want to go check on my daughter and the others.”

She left, and I wandered off down the hall in search of Krauss. Soon, though, I heard two male voices. I couldn’t tell offhand who they were, since they were talking quietly, but I did know that hushed conversations on this night were something I wanted to hear. I snuck up to the doorway and listened carefully.

“I can’t believe the Doctor got into Father’s room, but I suppose it helps. Still, we’ll need to accelerate the plan. Did you bring all the necessary...supplies?” asked the voice that I could now recognize as Krauss.

“Y, yes,” replied the other male voice, which I didn’t recognize. “It was very difficult, with the paperwork and the ...transportation, but the last of it came today. I had it all placed in the chapel.”

“Thank you, I’ll make sure your cut is generous. I’ll talk to them tonight, and if they’re not on board well...then I’ll go to Plan B.”

“Please, Krauss, do your best. Taking their lives…”

“I know. Though maybe the Beatrice...maybe it’ll all be blamed on her, whoever she is. Do you think- wait, did you hear something?”

I didn’t think I’d made a sound, but sometimes a human’s instincts don’t require ears. I snuck to the nearest room and slipped through the door as I heard Krauss approach the doorway. I shut the door silently, and then the room was flooded with dim light.
>> No. 21166 edit
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>>21165

Turning around, I saw that I was in an empty room with four beds, one of which was rumpled, and a window looking out into a forest in the distance. The rain had lessened to a drizzle, and the lightness through the clouds indicated that it was day. It seemed my piece had been moved again.

Once again, there came knocking on my door. “Doctor? Doctor, are you awake? We’re in the eye of the storm now, I think. You said you wanted to know?” It was a young woman’s voice, and not one I’d heard before. I opened the door, and there was Jessica Ushiromiya. Her eyes were a little red and puffy, like she’d been crying. From what, I wondered.

Then something clicked. “Wait, the eye of the storm? Doesn’t that hit the second day?”

She looked at me, confused. “What do you mean, Doctor? It is the second day of the storm.”

I frowned. Something was wrong. Very wrong. The witch had been right that I knew what happened past midnight on the second day. I’d looked into the Rokkenjima Incident, at first to get a glimpse of what might cause a Probability Void, but then because I found the tale and the subsequent theories fascinating. Based on everything I’d ever found out about the truth of the incident, Jessica should be dead by now. Yet here she was. That could mean that Beatrice had stuck me on one of the wild probabilities, that did not link to the proper end, or everything I knew was wrong. Either way, I would have to disregard what I knew and treat the mystery fresh. She’d found a way to level the playing field, whether the witch knew it or not.

“Oh, of course, yes, silly me,” I said, trying to give a disarming smile. “Thank you for telling me. Um...sorry, my memory is still having issues. Do you remember why I wanted you to tell me when it was the eye of the storm?”

“You said that we were going to go as a group to check on the servants and my father at the mansion.”

“Right! Right, yes, at a time of less rain and greater visibility that would be good. Ah, why aren’t we all together, though?”

Jessica frowned. “Father said it was his job to make sure the mansion was checked, since all the other adults in our family are...are…” It looked like she was going to burst into tears, but then she clenched her firsts and looked angry, instead. “Why did she do it, Doctor? Why did the witch kill them?”

I reached out to place what I was hoping was a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry, Jessica, we are going to find this killer, and we are going to stop them. I am going to keep you safe.” I hate giving hollow promises. I hate lying. The end of this is fixed, though. Jessica would not survive past today.

Heading downstairs, we rounded up the others in the guesthouse, which consisted of Battler, George, and Maria. Battler and George let me know that all the windows and doors had stayed securely locked, and no one had left. Together we left the guesthouse, with George locking the door behind us with a master key. We walked through the rose garden on the shortest path to the mansion and knocked on the door. After a couple moments, a servant that I thought was Gohda answered the door.

“Oh thank goodness. We cannot find Krauss! Did he come over to get you?” he asked.

“No,” said Jessica, alarmed. “When did you last see him?”

The elderly maid Kumasawa started coming down the stairs from the second floor. “Possibly about 30 minutes ago? He said the servants were to go over this mansion again, the parts that were generally open. He was going to go over the Master’s Study, the VIP Room, his room, Natsuhi’s room, and his study. Gohda and I were trying to find him to let him know that our searches were done, and we knocked on every door, but they were all locked and there was no answer. We opened up his room and Natsuhi’s room, and they were empty and locked down, but we can’t get in the other three without their specific keys and we were debating what to do when you all came.”

“Take us to them, I can get us in. Trust me,” I said to that, feeling the trusty weight of my sonic screwdriver in my pocket.

Though they were confused, they agreed. Starting with Kinzo’s study, I pulled out my sonic, excusing the whirr as ‘an advanced lockpicking tool I carry with me.’ Much to my surprise, though, Kinzo’s study was apparently deadlock-sealed, which meant the lock was done in such a way that my sonic screwdriver wouldn’t work on it. We’d need the key, and the servants told me we didn’t have that, as Krauss had taken the room-specific keys. Frustrated, I moved on to Krauss’ study. On that, my sonic worked like a dream. Afterwards, we moved to the VIP Room. They both seemed to be empty.

“I’ll go see if Shannon or Kanon saw him,” said Kumasawa, hurrying off as fast as she could manage.

I considered asking where Genji or the other family members were, but I was afraid of the answer. I walked around the room again, noting the decor and the lack of dust. “What’s with this room? Who used it?” I asked Gohda, as I watched the kids file around inside of it as well. By their looks, it’s not something they got to routinely see either, including Jessica.

“It was to be kept in good condition, by Kinzo’s orders, but no one used it. It is called the VIP Room because we always assumed Kinzo was saving for...well…”

“The witch,” finished Jessica, seated on what was apparently the witch’s bed. “Grandfather’s not here, Gohda, you don’t have to worry about making him sound as crazy as he is. And he really is, to believe in something like her.” She shook her head and stood, going over to a small bookcase that was there. She ran her hands over the spines of the books, reading them, then gave a small shudder, gripping her arms like she was cold. “Yep...crazy…” she muttered.

Gohda bowed. “It is not my place to say, truly. If you’ll all excuse me, I am going to help Kumasawa look.” So it was he left, and I was back to keeping an eye on the cousins. George had his arm lightly around Jessica, and Battler came over to me.

Keeping his voice down, he spoke. “Look, Doctor. Our parents are dead. All of them, except for Krauss. We need to save him, for Jessica.”

All of them. That included Eva. Unless it was just an assumed death, then that meant we were officially off the rails on this board. “I promise you, I will do my best,” I told him, giving him my most sincere look. He looked me in the eyes in return, and nodded, turning back to the others. How many friends had I lost after saying that exact phrase? Sighing, I went over to the bookshelf that Jessica had been looking at. The titles all seemed to be about black magic, the occult...I actually know that one’s author… Nothing particularly exceptional about them, though. Likely from Kinzo’s collection.

That’s when I felt something like an ethereal touch brush over my cheek, a touch that was soft and cold, and for a moment I thought I heard a quiet wordless whisper in my ear. I shivered, and I felt goosebumps like Jessica undoubtedly had. Was the witch messing with me? I suppose something like that would be within her influence… Shaking my head, I turned and looked out the window, and I saw Gohda heading off through the grass into the trees.

“What is he…?” I asked quietly, before bolting down the stairs, followed shortly by four very startled cousins. Kumasawa was standing in the entryway, along with the young maid, Shannon. I called out to them, “Where is Gohda going?”

“He figures that if Krauss isn’t here, and he wasn’t with you, then he must have gone outside,” replied Shannon, timidly. “Kanon just left to follow him so they won’t be attacked, and Kumasawa and I are going to check out the rose garden, staying closer to here.”

I ran my hand through my hair. It was a solid assumption, but I didn’t like it. I hadn’t had a chance to look at those already dead so that I could satisfy myself that they weren’t actually out there in the forest, waiting. “Alright, fine. More eyes are better though. George, give Battler your key. Battler, take Maria and Jessica back to the guesthouse-”

“Not a chance!” shouted Jessica, getting in my face. “He’s my father, I’m coming with you!”

I considered holding her off, but another look at her glare made me realize I didn’t have a chance. I’d seen that look on some of my companions before.

“Alright, fine. Battler, George, and Maria go back to the guesthouse. Jessica, you’re coming with me. I need you to tell me where your father could have gone.” With that, we split up. Jessica offered a few places, such as the docks, the shed, and the chapel. At that last, I remembered what I’d overheard Krauss saying. “The chapel. We should hurry, too. If the search isn’t done by the time the eye has passed, it’ll get a lot harder.”

Exiting the mansion, we followed a winding forest path. Although I’d said we should hurry, the monsoon rains had made the ground muddy and difficult to walk through, so it took us several minutes to make it there. Finally we came upon the building, and I wasn’t disappointed. The few pictured I’d seen failed to do it justice. There, right above the archway, was that famous phrase. Which meant, beneath our feet… Still, we had more pressing matters to attend to, and so we began shouting for Krauss. We tried to peek in through the windows, but being stained glass it was hard to make out much. No reply came from within, either. I took a moment to examine the ground around the chapel. The rain had washed away a lot, but there were some footprints, to be sure. Not all the same person, judging by their sizes and depth. Some much deeper than others, which suggested something heavy, or a very heavyset person, or both. The fact that they were pressed into the muddy dirt also showed that it had happened after the rain had begun. Jessica had made the full loop around the chapel by that point, and so we approached the door. I was working to get the right setting on my sonic screwdriver when Jessica stopped me.

“Doctor, do you hear that?” she asked.

I paused and listened. Very faintly, I could hear someone calling out for us. Putting my sonic away for now, I stepped away from the door and looked down the path.

“Doctor! Jessica!” I could now hear it well enough to make out that it was Gohda.

“We’re here!” I shouted back. I could finally see him coming around a curve in the path. He slipped and tumbled, but got back up and kept running. Realizing something was amiss, or rather more amiss than it had been, Jessica and I started running towards him. We met at the edge of the clearing.

“Krauss….by the shed…” he began, gasping. That was all it took. Jessica was off like a shot.

“Jessica!” I called, chasing after her. Doing a quick glance back at the poor servant who now looked more like he’d served pigs in a sty, I saw him bent over, panting. He saw my look and waved me on. I really didn’t want to leave him, but Jessica was a higher priority, in my mind. Save the young, they have so much potential. Even though they were both doomed anyway… “Jessica, wait!” I called again.

Thankfully I have a lot of practice running, so I caught up to her in the rose garden, and she guided me to the shed in question. It was down another path from the rose garden, wrapping a little behind the mansion and hidden in the forest. Shannon and Kumasawa were there, looking at something scarlet. They did their best to shield Jessica from the sight, but her scream of anguish confirmed what I already knew was likely.

His body was in a shallow ditch, a little shorter than he was, lying face down. The ditch was filled with rainwater, unsurprisingly, and was deep enough to have the water, or very thin mud, to be probably more accurate, cover his face and most of his ears. The back of his skull had been run through with some kind of gardening stake, something long enough that I couldn’t easily dislodge it from the ground beneath. Trying harder than that seemed more disrespectful to the dead than just leaving it be, and I honestly didn’t want to risk Jessica’s wrath. ‘Beaten to death by a Japanese schoolgirl’ was not something I wanted on my list of deaths.

“Gouge the head and kill,” whispered Shannon, as she came back from comforting Jessica.

“Are we at that point already?” I asked, and I couldn’t keep the depression from my voice. That meant eight, now 9 had already perished under my gaze. I supposed the math added up, with the people I hadn’t seen yet.

“Yes,” she replied. She was silent for a moment, then said, “Krauss’ back, it’s still wet too...He must have been out here in the pouring rain when he was killed, otherwise it would have been dry due to the eye of the storm..”

I focused my gaze on her. Of course Shannon would notice that. Anything goes on this board, right? Is she the culprit, trying to point out her alibi, or an ally, pointing out a truth? Oh Agatha, where are you when I need you? For now, I nodded. “Solid theory.” Standing, I looked around. I wasn’t any kind of crime scene expert, but I figured I needed anything I could get. We were standing near a run-of-the-mill garden shed, if one on the larger end of the spectrum. It had a vertical sliding door, which was padlocked shut at the moment. On the outside were a few things that would not mind the weather, like bags of fertilized earth, large clay plant pots that had been empty and were now filled to the brim with water from the storm, some long garden hoses, a wooden-handled shovel…

“That shouldn’t be out in the rain…” I mumbled, walking to the shovel. Looking it over, I saw fresh dirt on the blade. Looking back over at the body, I noticed a small messy ridge of tossed earth about three or four feet away. “Oh, I am thick! I’m the bleeding mayor of Thicktown!” I ran over to where Jessica was now sitting, her back against a clay pot, in a dry patch of grass that Shannon had found for her. “Jessica, I am sorry, I am so very sorry for your family. I promise you, though, I will catch the person who did this. They’ve made a mistake.” She looked up at me then, her eyes filled with some unknown emotion.

At that point, Battler and Gohda appeared. Kumasawa looked over Gohda. “Are you all right? Were you attacked?”

“Only by a slippery patch of ground,” said Godha, grimly, as Battler walked over to the body. Giving it barely a glance, he came over to Jessica as well. “I heard the scream,” he said quietly. He didn’t say anything further, just gently gripped her arms and pulled her to her feet. I noticed the trees were beginning to shift and sway.

“No, no, no!” I said, trying to stave off the witch and her storm. “I’m not done here yet!” The strong breeze did not lessen. “Blast! Fine! Does anyone know if this ditch was here yesterday?”

“Kanon would,” replied Shannon.

“It wasn’t,” said Gohda. “Kanon and I came out here yesterday morning and this definitely wasn’t here then. Was someone trying to dig a grave for Krauss out in the storm?”

“Who though?” asked Battler. “We were all in the guesthouse, and you all were in the mansion. Did anyone else slip away with Krauss?”

“I haven’t seen Kanon,” I supplied helpfully, glancing at Shannon.

“I have, he was with us in the mansion,” said Kumasawa, quickly.

“Then...it couldn’t have been any of us…” said Jessica, quietly. “The outside world was a closed room…”

Nearer than we expected, lightning flashed, and thunder rumbled. I saw a wall of rain approaching. “We’ll discuss it later. Back to the houses, everyone!” Everyone else started down the path at a quick jog, but I wanted one last look at the corpse.

“Doctor, are you coming?” shouted Gohda.

“Go! I’ll catch up! There’s something I need to check!”

There was another flash of lightning.
>> No. 21168 edit
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>>21166

The rumble of thunder shook the window. I was in a mansion hallway, and it was dark. “Oh, now that’s not nice!” I told the air. Then, a little ways away, I heard a man’s voice I didn’t know, and it was having a conversation with no one in a nearby room with a mostly closed doorway.

I peeked in through the crack and saw Rudolf Ushiromiya talking into a phone, which greatly surprised me. I figured all phone lines would have been cut. Still, it’s possible that they hadn’t been cut yet, if this was the first night.

“Yeah, Jack, I know. Don’t worry, everything is going fine. We’ll be able to pay. I have a foolproof plan. Yeah, yeah, but this one will work. Now listen, it’s late here. I’ll call you again at 2:30, alright? Of course I know when that is, that’s…” He glanced at his watch. “Five and a half hours from now. Ugh, I need to get to sleep. Goodbye Jack. Send my regards to the team, the missus, and the mistress. You too. Bye.”

“Conducting business at one in the morning. Quite the glamorous life you lead, dear,” said Kyrie, stepping out of the bathroom, the sardonic tone in her voice quite clear.

“I know, sorry, but at least it won’t be that way for long,” he replied, settling down on the bed. “Listen, Kyrie, there’s something I want to talk to you about. It’s about Battler.”

“Oh no, what’s he done now?” she asked, walking towards the door. I turned to one side, and the door shut. I heard the door’s lock click, and the sound of the chain lock being set. I tried to listen at the door afterwards, but I couldn’t make out the words. I turned around to go back the other way, and the faded daylight of a stormy morning came through the windows.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kanon was hurrying up to me. “Doctor! I’m glad that I finally found you. Please, come with me.” He looked like he was trying to keep his composure. An admirable effort, but it was clear that he was frayed at the edges.

I was growing accustomed to these transitions, so I just said, “Why, what’s happened?”

“Please, just…” he sighed, as we jogged to the parlor. “It’s...I can’t explain.”

We got to the parlor and he took a deep breath, then opened the doors. Inside were six corpses. I could tell they were corpses at a glance, considering how they’d been ripped open from navel to sternum, and their innards had flopped out. It looked like their faces had been bashed around somewhat too. Not enough to erase their general features, but enough to show that whoever did this probably had some severe grudge.

“Shannon and I found them like this when we came to clean up, this morning. They were up late, probably discussing the Master’s inheritance,” said Kanon.

“The time would have been better served working on the riddle,” I said, looking at him. I wasn’t sure, but I think his eyes widened slightly at that remark and my look. Turning back, I began walking the room.

Most of them I only knew from quick glances and the old photographs I’d gathered, so the fact that their faces were battered made it difficult for me, but I was pretty sure I was looking at the battered and ripped corpses of Dr. Nanjo, Genji, Natsuhi, Rosa, Eva, and Hideyoshi.

“Where is everyone else?” I asked.

“Shannon, Kumasawa, and Gohda went to round them up,” Kanon replied. “I left with them and found you, and since you’re a doctor…”

“I see. Too bad my memory is on the blink. I’ll need the family to make sure.” So these are the first six. Something was striking me as very wrong about the whole scene, something obvious that I was missing, but it was so obvious I wasn’t seeing it. Each corpse was sprawled in some kind of disarray, with the four family members and Nanjo in chairs or on couches, and Genji slumped against a wall. How could the culprit have gotten them all without more signs of resistance?

There was a tea set there, and tea cups were beside everyone besides Genji. However, the one beside Nanjo was still practically full, so my first instinct was to doubt poison. Some kind of gas, perhaps? I sniffed the air. Something smelled...wrong. It wasn’t deadly, whatever it was, I knew that, but I couldn’t place it, aside from it somehow reminding me of death. It wasn’t something that belonged in this room, though. As I frantically wracked my brain, trying to nail down the smell, I heard two sets of footsteps approaching. Giving up for the moment, I turned to watch Krauss, still alive at this point, stop in his tracks. His eyes were wide in shock, and it wasn’t faked if I am any judge of human expression.

“What...what is this?!” he shouted. Running into the middle of the room, he looked around at the corpses. Kumasawa, who had brought him, held her hand up to her lips as her eyes teared up, watching him stagger around. I wanted to ask him about their identities, but I gave him a moment. I instead took the moment to investigate the windows. All locked, all only able to be locked from the inside. When I’d finished my inspection, it looked like he’d calmed down a little, so I approached him.

“Please, Krauss. I’m sorry, I only know them a little. Are you sure? These are Genji, Rosa, Eva, Dr. Nanjo, Hideyoshi, and…”

“...my wife. Yes Doctor, it’s them. Who hated them so much? To brutalize them in such a way? I should have stayed with them, Doctor. I was here with them until midnight, but then I left.”

“Why?” My question had a harder edge than I’d intended.

“To speak alone with Rudolf and Kyrie. We were all trying to figure out Father’s inheritance, now that he’s disappeared, in case something bad happened to him. Kyrie was fighting to...ruin me, and I wanted to work out a deal with them privately. We argued for half an hour before striking a deal, and then I went to bed,”

I nodded, and left him to his grieving. Going back to Kanon, who was waiting by the door, staring at the bodies, I asked. “When you and Shannon made it to this room, I imagine the door was locked?”

He nodded. ‘We used my master key to get in.”

“Of course.” As I was watching Krauss once more and waiting for the others, I thought back on what he’d told me. Kyrie was fighting to ruin him. He’d made some plan with someone that required supplies brought to the island. Kyrie, Rudolf’s second wife. No real blood ties to the-

“The blood,” I whispered. Kanon had gone to stand awkwardly by Krauss at this point so no one was around to hear me. “The blood is all wrong.” It was what was so very wrong about this murder scene. All the smashing, the slicing, the guts spilling everywhere, there should have been lots of blood spilled out of them and onto everything, but there was blood on arms that were uninjured and splayed away from the open wounds. It was like the blood had been splashed onto them! Why? What possible purpose did it serve? I heard the front door of the mansion open and a small stampede of footsteps enter.
>> No. 21169 edit
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>>21168

“No don’t come down here!” I shouted, holding up a hand. Now though, I was standing on the other side of the entryway. Jessica was just rounding the stairs from the second floor, followed closely by George, Battler, Gohda, Shannon, and Maria.

“What is it, Doctor?” shouted Jessica.

I couldn’t really tell her that I honestly didn’t know if there was anything, so I looked. Beside me was an open doorway, with stairs leading down into a basement. Down at the bottom, I could see an open lit furnace and noticed the stench that was coming from it. In the flickering shadows, I could also see two crumpled forms before it. I took too long trying to figure out who they were, and Jessica pushed passed me before I’d noticed she was there.

Running down the steps, she hit a light switch, and the bare bulb above their heads showed an old woman in a maid uniform, and a young man in a servant’s outfit.

“Kanon!” shouted Jessica, stumbling down the last few steps to his prone form. I had to admit, I was shocked. I looked at him, then at Shannon, who had stopped at the top of the stairs and was looking down. Anything goes, indeed.

Gohda had gone down as well, and I followed suit, treading carefully on the old wooden stairs. I hated stairs with no back underneath them. It always felt like a hand would reach through and grab your foot, and in my centuries of life, I’d had that actually happen more times than I cared to remember. Gohda was kneeling next to the corpse when I arrived. “Kumasawa...rest well. You can nap as long as you wish, now,” he said, sadly, closing the open eyes. She had a hole in her stomach, all the way through to her back, about half an inch across if I had to eyeball it, and now that I was on alert, I made note that the blood seemed to be consisted with a wound like this, though I was no forensic expert.

Jessica sat on the floor, holding the young servant’s head in her lap, tears falling from her eyes in a steady stream. “Kanon...Kanon...why…” she said, over and over. He had a chest wound, much like the other stomach wound, again, with proper blood. I hated that I had to check that, now. Something for the witch to answer for. Standing, I approached the furnace door. Inside, I saw what seemed to be a large blackened shape.

George and Battler came up to me, and George squinted into the furnace. “Is...is that?”

“The source of the smell,” I confirmed. Looking around, I found a long set of large tongs, reached in, and pulled it out. It was a corpse, well and truly burnt.

“Is it Kinzo, do you think?” asked Battler.

“No way of knowing that I can tell,” replied George. “But...where are its kneecaps?”

He’d noticed it too. I was looking for epitaph wounds. We’d had head, chest, and stomach. That left knee and leg. At this point, I’d been trying to place it together like a jigsaw puzzle, and assuming the survivors I’d seen at the shed and the corpses I’d seen in the parlor, coupled with these, I assumed that Kyrie and Rudolf were the second Twilight. This murder just left one.

“Oh, they probably fell off and are in the furnace,” I tried to claim to reassure them, in a bizarre way.

“They were gouged!” shouted Maria from the top of the stairs, where she stood with Shannon. “Gouge the knee and kill! Kihihihihihihihihihi! Only one more sacrifice until the Golden Land!” She really was as creepy as the writings made her out to be. Good to know.

Battler shut the furnace and turned the handle to lock it once more, then flicked his hand wildly. “Burn yourself?” I asked, mildly curious.

“Nah, felt like a spiderweb strand brushed me as I pulled my hand away. Heh, weird how little things like that can still bug me, even after all the things I’ve seen today…”

“You’re human, it’s instinct,” I replied, standing and looking at the furnace. On the side, next to the automatic temperature sensor, there was a dent that looked pretty fresh, like something hard had impacted it and bounced off, coming from the general direction of the front of the furnace. Something to note, definitely. I feigned dizziness and rested against the handrail of the stairs. “Ah, right, sorry. You know my memory and all. What were we doing before this?”

“Well, you were taking your sweet time coming back from the shed,” snapped Jessica. It seemed she’d swung back to anger. “We all came back here since there were so few of us, and it looks like it’s someone else out there, outside, that did this. So we all went to my room, since I had the key for it, and we waited. We kept waiting to hear your knock at the door, but it never came. Then, after about half an hour, we noticed a smell coming up through the vents. Kumasawa left to go check it out, while Gohda stayed to protect us. After a few minutes, we heard something like a loud clang, and that’s when we came downstairs, and saw you at the open door. So why don’t you say what you were doing before this?!” she asked angrily.

“I...don’t recall,” I said, lamely. “I’m sorry. Though... was Kanon with you in your room? He wasn’t at the shed.”

“No,” said Battler. “We tried shouting for him on the way back to the mansion, and we called out to him here, but he didn’t reply. We hoped he’d find you or get in on his own with the master key, but we never saw him. I guess Kumasawa found him when she came to check the furnace…”

“I suppose…” I said. “Right, then. I don’t have a much better idea beyond yours, but I can get us into a more secure room. Come on.”

It looked like the witch’s promise that I wouldn’t be suspected was starting to be strained, but for the moment they followed me back upstairs. I didn’t even try Kinzo’s study, considering the deadlock seal, but I went with the next best thing I could think of. The VIP Room. Unlocking the door with my sonic screwdriver, I got everyone inside. When I stayed on the outside, Battler looked at me, puzzled.

“I’m an outsider,” I said in reply to his unspoken question. “I shouldn’t be in there with you. In addition, I have faced far more than you all ever have. I am going to do what I can to wait out here for the culprit, and I am going to stop them. I need you all to stay in there, with the door shut, and don’t come out for anything. I’ll be back before midnight,” I said. After all, I knew I had to be. Battler seemed about to argue, but swallowed his words and nodded, shutting the door and locking it. I sighed, and said to the empty corridor, “There are some times I wish I couldn’t travel in time, you know. Making sure to close causation loops if you’re stuck in one, just so you don’t get a paradox-within-a-paradox? You’ve trapped me in one tangled one, witch, I admit. I’m not sure how it could get much worse…”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was about twenty feet in front of a wall of wet stone bricks. No, scratch that. Given the feelings in my body and the fact that the stone was rapidly approaching, I was actually three feet above wet stone. Make that a couple inc-.

“Ow…” I said, staggering to my feet. It was dark, it was raining, and I’d just faceplanted on the stone walkway of the rose garden. “Alright, I suppose I asked for that,” I said, touching the side of my head that had impacted. I felt a rather nasty bump and some blood. “Note to self,” I said, staggering towards the lights of the mansion. “Falling far onto stone hurts. Don’t do it, it’ll be the death of you.”

My legs wobbled as I pushed the doorbell of mansion. Finally, Genji answered.

“Hello, I’m the Doctor. Nice to meet you,” I said, and then I passed out.
>> No. 21170 edit
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>>21169

When I opened my eyes, Rosa was watching me. She smiled with relief when she saw me looking at her, and I wish I could say I was smiling too. Instead I just kept thinking about how she’d look later.

“Good, you’re awake. Doctor Nanjo said you had a concussion, but he wasn’t sure how bad it’d be. He did the best he could with the supplies he had here though. How are you feeling?”

“Um...a bit fuzzy,” I lied. “I’m...the Doctor. But...that’s all I can remember.”

“Doctor who?” she asked. I made another mark in my mental tally board. I shook my head helplessly, then winced with quite real pain.

“Alright, he said there might be some memory loss. Well you’re on the island of Rokkenjima, in the Ushiromiya family mansion. My name is Rosa. You’ll meet the rest of us soon, I’m sure. Here, let me take a look at your head,” she said, undoing the bandage that had been wrapped around my skull. “Hmm, a nasty bruise, but you’re not bleeding at all. I can barely see any cut now. You must have amazing regenerative abilities, Doctor.”

“Oh you have no idea,” I said, leaning back into the bed.

She smiled. “Well, I’ll let you rest. I’ll let everyone know you’re alright, aside from your memory, which I’m sure will come back. If you feel up to it, we’ll be having dinner in a couple hours. Gohda, our chef, is absolutely amazing.”

I smiled. “I’ll try.” She left and shut the door. I got up and stretched. I hurt, but now was my chance to maybe get some pre-murder investigation in, and it was a chance I wasn’t going to miss. I opened the door.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The light shifted slightly, and suddenly the smell of food was everywhere. “Really? Fine, I get the hint…” I said, walking down the hall to the dining room. It looked like they were wrapping up a rather cheerful dinner when I arrived, but everyone made introductions and I was welcomed at the end of the table. I was brought food, which I ate somewhat more greedily than I should have, but I admit I was hungry. Everyone was there, chatting, and I was finally able to put a name to the voice I’d heard talking to Krauss so long ago now, in the future. It was Dr. Nanjo’s. I filed that fact away, and kept eating.

“No, not a ‘casual’ loop, a ‘causal’ loop,” I heard George say. I paused, and looked at him. He was apparently attempting to explain something to Battler and Jessica. “It’s a theory in physics, involving time travel and paradoxes. It can also be called the Bootstrap Paradox. How can I best describe it? How about this. Say there’s this time traveller who really likes...I don’t know, Beethoven. He decides he wants to visit him, since he can travel in time. So he goes to eighteenth century Germany. When he gets there though, right time and right place, he can’t find Beethoven. No one has heard of him, not even his supposed family. So the time traveller panics. He thinks that his time travel somehow erased Beethoven from history, and now the world will never have Beethoven’s music. However, he’d brought all of his Beethoven sheet music, every last bit of it, because he wanted Beethoven to sign it. So, in order to save the future of music, he copies it all down and gets it published, as Beethoven, starting with the very first performance. He is Beethoven, and time continues on without any changes. Here’s the paradox: who first wrote down the music?”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the faces of Jessica and Battler. They looked to me, and George grinned. “I’m sorry,” I said, controlling myself, “but that was one of the greatest explanations of a temporal paradox I’ve ever heard. I’m going to have to remember that one if I ever decide to teach. Well done.”

“You know about it, then?” asked George. “Do you know quantum physics? Have you remembered more?”

I kicked myself on the inside, but went with it. “Yes, it seems I do know it, at least somewhat. Maybe I’m a doctor of physics. I haven’t remembered anything else though.” I took my last bite of food, and sighed. “That was an excellent meal, thank you.”

“Uu, does that mean dinner is done, Mama?” asked Maria. I leaned in. I knew what was coming.

As anticipated, Maria pulled out a letter she said she had received from the witch, Beatrice. She read it, and it was as I remembered:

Welcome to Rokkenjima, members of the Ushiromiya family. My name is Beatrice and I am serving Kinzo as the alchemist-adviser of this house. I was serving him, obeying a contract that extended for many years but, today, Kinzo declared the end of that contract.

Consequently, during today, I’ll be ending my duty as alchemist-adviser of the family, so please be understanding of that. Then, I must explain one part of the contract to everyone here. I, Beatrice, did loan a vast amount of gold to Kinzo, but with a certain condition.

As for that condition, he was to return me all the gold by the end of the contract. As interest, I can accept everything of the Ushiromiya family. Upon hearing this, everyone will probably lament Kinzo for being too merciless.

However, Kinzo, in order to give a chance to leave the wealth and fortune to everyone, added a special clause. I’ll eternally lose my right to collect the gold and the interest only when that clause is satisfied.

――Special clause――

When the contract ends, Beatrice will have the right to collect the gold and the interest. However, if a person who discloses the hidden gold of the contract appears, Beatrice must eternally and completely abdicate of this right.

From now on, the collection of interest will be performed but, if one person among everyone can satisfy the special clause, everything will be returned, including the part already collected.

Furthermore, I have already received the Ring of the Head of the Ushiromiya Family that indicates my right to do this.

Please, confirm with the wax seal.

About the hiding place of the gold, Kinzo already publicly announced it at the inscription under my portrait. The conditions are equal to all the people who can read the inscription. If the gold is discovered, I will return everything. With that, please, enjoy to the fullest your battle of wits with Kinzo.

I’m praying from the bottom of my heart that tonight turns out to be an intellectual and yet elegant night.

――Beatrice the Golden

Everyone was quiet for a moment, and then the room burst into activity. After a couple moments of chaos, it was decided that Kumasawa would take the children to the guesthouse, Gohda and Shannon, who were serving dinner, would go get Kanon and start making sure the house was locked down, and Genji and the others would go to Kinzo’s study. Everyone hurried out, forgetting about me in the commotion. “Right,” I said, “And I’ll get in it before them, anyways.” I stood, took off the bandage from my head, and put it on the table. I was heading out the door when the world shifted again.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was still stepping out of the dining room, but I could tell by the light that it was later. Turing, I saw Shannon pushing a tea trolley towards the parlor room on the other side of the entranceway, when Krauss, Rudolf, and Kyrie stepped out of it.

“Ah, Shannon, excellent idea on the tea. I was about to call for some,” said Krauss. He leaned in and smelled the tea. “Mmm, I wish I could have some.” He then looked at the teacups. “Not these, though. Look at them, this one is chipped, right here! There’s a fresh set in the hall closet, go get those.”

“But Gohda washed these himself,” I heard Shannon stammer. “Would he have missed something like a chip?” She leaned down to look herself, but Krauss cut her off.

“He did. Now hurry and get the other cups before the tea gets cold.” As she hurried off, I slipped back into the dining room so that no one saw me. I was going to get some unobserved investigation in no matter what Beatrice thought. “She’s a good servant most days, but throw off her routine…” I heard Krauss continue as the footsteps of himself and the other two carried off down the hall. Once I thought the coast was clear, I stepped through again.
>> No. 21171 edit
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>>21170

Now the window lighting seemed like it was midmorning, and I swore off going through the dining room door again. Kanon rounded a corner. “Doctor! Come quick!” I did the calculations, and there was only one thing this was likely to be. Kanon brought me to Kyrie and Rudolf’s room, where the door was shut, and my sense of dread grew. Kanon opened it, but it clanked against the set chain lock. Inside, though, I could see blood on the floor and bedsheets, and what could be the form of legs underneath those sheets.

“Did you find this like this?” I asked, hurriedly.

“No, Gohda did, about ten minutes ago. We were getting everyone because of the...what happened in the parlor, and he came to get them. I’d woken them at six, at their request, and they were fine then, at least from what I could see from the door. I then left them alone. Rudolf said that they were going to sleep through breakfast. When we found the parlor, though…”

“And when was that?” I asked, realizing I’d never pinned a solid time down for any of these occurrences beyond what I could guess based on the light.

“A little before ten?” he asked, looking at me, confused. “Anyways, when I entered the corridor I saw that he had the door open and was calling into the room. I could see the chain lock was already set. He ran to me, said that they weren’t answering, and then sent me to try to find you in case you could help. It took me about five minutes to find you.”

“Right, right,” I said, as I played the amnesia card again. “Well we can’t wait for the others. We need to get in there. Kanon, give me some help!” Together we bashed against the door once, twice, thrice, and the chain lock ripped from the wall as we tumbled in. I landed in a small puddle of something wet, and it stung my eyes. Once I got up on my hands and knees and managed to fumble to a bit of clean sheet to wipe it off with, I looked down. Blood. I’d landed in blood. Blood that was all over my face and hands. Getting up, I saw Kanon staring at the corpses in shock. There were definitely two of them, and they definitely looked like Rudolf and Kyrie. Sad to say, I wasn’t shocked any more. Heading to the bathroom, I quickly washed my face and hands as best I could. By the time I was done, Battler had arrived and was yelling in grief. I could see Krauss, George, and Jessica in the entryway behind him, and I had to imagine the others were in the hallway, giving him space.

I walked to the beds. Their bodies had been bludgeoned terribly, and the blood seemed to have come from their orifices and compound fractures. The weapon wasn’t immediately apparent but given their wounds it didn’t look like anything particularly unique would have had to be used. I looked around for anything that could have been used to shut the chain lock from the outside, under the beds, in the open walk-in closet, in the drawers of the dresser, but there was nothing. Granted, I knew how to set one with my sonic screwdriver, but it was a delicate operation, and if the killer had a sonic screwdriver and knew how to use it that well, we had much bigger problems. No, I had to assume it was someone on the island.

“Doctor,” said Kanon, standing beside the battered body that had once been Rudolf. “Look.” He was pointing at Rudolf’s watch, which had been on him and smashed, presumably when he was being beaten.

“6:04,” I read. Interesting indeed.

“Does that mean...he died right after I left?” Kanon asked, his voice shaking slightly.

I decided not to mince words with him. “It would appear so…”

Unfortunately Battler heard that. “What?! Kanon?! You saw them last? Was it you? Did you kill them?!” He gripped the lapels of Kanon’s uniform tightly.

“Battler, no!” said Gohda, pushing in from the hallway and separating them. “Please, sir, I understand, but you should trust Kanon!”

“And you!” said Battler, rounding on Gohda. “Why did you have to come get us? Why did you make it so I had to see them like this? Why…?” His anger spent, Battler fell to his knees. I, staying cold and detached enough to make myself feel sick, checked the windows. They were locked, and could only have been locked from the inside.

“Alright, everyone,” I said after a couple minutes, making sure my voice carried into the hallway. “I don’t think the mansion is safe right now. I think we should all go to the guesthouse.”

Krauss spoke up. “No, Doctor, I can’t go. This is my family home, and I will not have it lost to some witch. I’m going to stay here, along with the servants, and we’re going to search this place from top to bottom. You all should go, though.”

George and Jessica both spoke up, wanting to stay, probably because their significant others were, but Krauss vetoed them, and so it was that the group split, with George taking the now-deceased Genji's master key. Just like it had to happen. I couldn’t help but let out a sigh.

Once we’d made it to the guesthouse, I turned to Jessica. “You all, make sure all the doors and windows are locked tight, and that there’s no one else here. I’m sorry, but I think I’m still suffering from the concussion, so I need to go sleep for a bit. Wake me when the eye of the storm hits, and we’ll go check on Krauss and the servants.” I said this, without having to fake my tiredness. So far I had seen twelve horrific murders. If the witch had her way, there’d be one more. But, in the future, I’d locked all of these children away safely inside the VIP room, and I didn’t think the culprit would be able to reach them. They were all together, and the door was locked. If the culprit was one of them, they wouldn’t be able to make a move. I had done my best, and if I could save even one from a horrible fate, then I would do so.

I walked up to the room I’d been in earlier in the future, locked the door, made sure the window was locked, and laid down on a pristine bed, rumpling it. Anticipating what was coming next, I closed my eyes for an instant.
>> No. 21172 edit
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21172
>>21171

Opening them, it was dark, and I was back in the mansion. Judging by the appearance, I was in the servants’ room, and it was night. Getting up, I stretched. I could finally take some time to thoroughly investigate this mansion. Starting with this room, I took a look around. All the windows were locked. There was a key rack, but no keys hung from it. For good measure, I checked the door. It, too, was locked.

I was beginning to rifle through the furniture when I heard a scream from up above me somewhere. “Doctor!” It was a woman’s scream, though in a moment male voices joined her. Unlocking and running out the door, I hurried up the stairs and pounded on the VIP Room door. “It’s me, it’s me, let me in!”

The lock clicked and I practically flew inside. Frantically I looked around. George, Jessica, Gohda, Maria, Battler… “Where’s Shannon?!”

Maria smiled her creepy smile and pointed at a slip of paper, that was sitting in the middle of the room. On it, written in handwriting that was either terrible or intentionally disguised, were the words, ‘SHE’S IN THE SERVANTS’ ROOM, DOCTOR’.

I gulped. “But...how?”

Together we returned to the servants’ room. They didn’t ask about the door being unlocked, and I didn’t volunteer that I’d unlocked it. At this point, I admit I half-expected to find her in a pool of blood in the middle of the room, but it looked how I left it. We hit the light and began searching the room. After a couple minutes, though, we decided it was fruitless.

“Maybe we discovered the note before the culprit had a chance to carry out their plan?” volunteered Gohda.

“Yes, how did you all find the note?” I asked. “I can’t imagine it just appeared?”

Jessica frowned. “We were sleeping, Doctor. And before you get on us about that, let me describe it. George was sleeping with his back against the door. Battler and Gohda were sleeping underneath the windows. I was sleeping in the bed, only because Shannon and the others insisted. Shannon was sleeping near the bathroom. If anyone had come in or gone out normally, we would have had to notice them. But I woke up to use the bathroom, and Shannon was gone, and that note was there.”

“That’s...that’s just not fair…” I said, dumbfounded.

“Not fair?!” shouted George. “Is this a game to you, Doctor?! Our family and loved ones have died, and you’re complaining about this being fair?!” His face was flushed, and it looked like he was about to attack me, but instead he lashed out sideways. “Raaaaaagh!”

In a truly impressive side kick, George smashed his foot through the wall of the servants’ room. It got stuck in the plaster for a moment, which at any other time would have been comical. When he yanked it free, it wasn’t the only thing to come out though. Out flopped a feminine arm. After we demolished more of the wall, we found her. The corpse of Shannon looked like it had been dragged along a road for a bit, and her neck was clearly snapped. One particular gash on her leg was especially deep.

“Kihihihihihihi! She was in the room, wasn’t she, Doctor?” asked Maria, joyfully. “Beatrice is coming! The ritual has been completed!” Her laughter followed me as I backed out of the room, shaking my head. How? How had all this happened right under my nose? My heel caught on something, and I fell.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was once more looking up at the portrait of Beatrice. Battler was yelling at me.

“It had to be you! You have that lockpick that can open doors, and no one knew where you went after Kinzo’s study! I asked! You probably time-traveled or something to the future to a point when Dad’s room was unlocked, then rewound time to kill them right after Kanon left, then escaped the same way! Krauss? We knew where everyone was when it was raining except you! You went off to your room to sleep! Kumasawa, Kanon, Grandfather?! Well, we were all together in Jessica’s room! Shannon?! Tell me how anyone else could have done it! Anyone else! How do you put a girl in a wall without leaving a trace by the time you investigate it? Time travel! It had to be you! And now I’m going to get vengeance, no matter what the others tell me! Farewell!”

I heard the clock begin to chime, and I stared down the barrel of the gun.

The second chime didn’t come, and the gun didn’t fire.

“As promised, Doctor, I arrive,” said Beatrice, stepping out of a side passage. “I think he makes some very valid points, doesn’t he?” she asked, looking over Battler, then looking away, a slight flush upon her cheeks.

“Have you stopped time?” I asked, even though I could feel that it wasn’t true.

“No, even I don’t have that kind of power here. I can, however, project myself right into your psychically-gifted brain, and speed up your perception. Time continues, but very, very slowly, from where you’re sitting. The bullet will come for you, Doctor. Whether you’re here to receive it depends on what happens next.”

With a wave of her pipe, a majestic chaise lounge appeared behind her, and she reclined on it, becoming a mirror image of the painting.

“Alright, Doctor. It’s time. Whodunnit?”

She’d made a mistake, though. She’d given me about thirty more seconds to think, and an adrenaline boost on top of it.

I smiled. “Sorry Beatrice, I’ve won.” I began to lay out my explanation.
>> No. 21173 edit
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>>21172

The stage darkens for a moment, and when the lights come back up, it seems as though the actors have been frozen in place.

Another Beatrice calmly walks out from the wings and stands at the edge of the stage.

"And that's how I came to know the Doctor!" she says, with a grin. Then the grin turns more savage. "I know you all, though. You didn't just come to watch a show, you came to be challenged! Very well! Which among you is equal to the Doctor? Tell me, what really happened on Rokkenjima?"

"Do that, and the Doctor lives! Fail, the Doctor dies. Now, I know you're saying that clearly he survived, but this is my realm! The past changes, and anything that is possible is happening! So...can you save him, detectives? Can you save the Doctor?

She cackled as the house lights came up, ready to take on all comers.

---------------------------------

GAME START

Last edited at 18/06/18(Mon)19:00:01
>> No. 21174 edit
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21174
All the murders seem explainable, but since we only have one shot with the culprit let's try to narrow that down.

Krauss and Nanjo seem to have brought something with the intent of combating Kyrie. It could be a number of things, maybe it was just something to do with the gold, but he needed Nanjo's help specifically. The possibility that would make everything easier is that Nanjo brought supplies that were used to create the crime scenes we found. Such as blood, bodies, or chemicals used to drug or kill. Considering Krauss' reaction perhaps he knocked them all out in the parlor and someone else started killing.
>> No. 21175 edit
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21175
>>21174

"Well hello again, detective. It's been a while since you and I had a proper duel. I was beginning to think you'd forgotten about me," said the witch with a mock-pout.

"However, in that time I've spent time going over the last time we matched wits, and I've learned a few things. I'd say that blue is far too broad to be worthy of countering with the red. I refuse, unless you can be a bit more specific about how these supposed supplies were used to create the crime scenes. After all, having access to items and getting them properly positioned or used are two very different things."
>> No. 21176 edit
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>>21175
I suppose it has been a while hasn't it. Very well then. Let's just do this the old fashioned way.

Since the Doctor noticed the blood didn't make sense during the first twilight it could have been a cover up. A drug Nanjo brought was used to knock out or kill the victims of the first twilight. Perhaps evaporating in the tea so it didn't need to be consumed. Then the door was locked from the inside by someone faking their death.
>> No. 21177 edit
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21177
>>21176

The witch smiled. "Ah, much better. Sometimes the old ways are best, right? However, it would be impossible for one of the six discovered in the parlor to be faking their deaths, as each were ripped from navel to sternum in an obviously fatal fashion.
>> No. 21178 edit
But would it be impossible for two of the six to fake their deaths?

If so then the the parlor door was simply locked after the victims died. I don't recall anything said about the keys, but I can't check at the moment.
>> No. 21179 edit
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21179
Gah, reread the text and the Doctor already suggested what I said. So here's another, Shannon's corpse was placed into the wall from below or above.

Last edited at 18/06/24(Sun)17:45:46
>> No. 21180 edit
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21180
>>21178

"Hmm...alright, I'll give this one to you. Whether from the inside or the outside, the parlor door was locked after the victims died.

>>21179

"Oh ho!" the witch said, turning to her next challenger. "I am half-tempted to not even dignify that with a red, but I will. For starters, though, a simple fact: The room right above the servant's room was the VIP room, and above that is roof. The occupants of the VIP room would definitely have noticed if Shannon was missing and a new Shannon-shaped hole was in the wall, and not mentioning that would be a violation of Knox's 8th. I suppose a Shannon-shaped hole in the roof would be possible, but that would also be a violation of Knox's 8th, plus would require an amazing theory to explain. At any rate, Knox's 8th applies to this mystery. Care to try again?"

Last edited at 18/06/24(Sun)20:28:34
>> No. 21182 edit
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>>21180
Since this game is out of order I will try that as well. With the boiler room everyone else was gathered in Jessica's room as far as we are told. Kanon could have been killed earlier, although we are inclined to believe Battler's testimony. We know Kumasawa was with the group for sure so she went to the boiler room and died. Did they perhaps investigate the smell of the body since it could have been put in earlier and only now started smelling? Either way the result is a burnt body and two more dead.

This is why I assumed someone had faked their death, but I always like a single, non-faked death culprit explanation so let's see if I can try something silly to try and make my first whodunit theory work. The burnt body/furnace was trapped to shoot and kill anyone who went to investigate. After all why would the body be missing two kneecaps? That is what was rigged. Battler might have felt a string used for the trap and mistook it for a spiderweb.
>> No. 21183 edit
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21183
>>21182

Beatrice bursts out laughing. "The kneecaps? The kneecaps were trapped? Oh boy, detective, that's on par with the other idiot's 'small bombs'! I never figured you for the crazy things."

She laughs a while longer, then calms herself, wiping a tear from her eye. "Oh, thank you. I needed that. Still, alright, I'll allow it. The item that Battler felt on the furnace was a broken tripline for a trap. It only worked once. So, you have your trap, detective. It's up to you to decide who it killed."
>> No. 21184 edit
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21184
The murderer had previously broken away the plaster of the wall behind the bookshelf. When the people were sleeping, the murderer killed Shannon (by snapping her neck while she was asleep), then removed the books from the bookshelf to reveal the hole in the plaster, then pushed Shannon through the hole. Shannon fell down to where she would be found. Then the murderer put the books back.

`•.¸¸. it was a secret passage all along .¸¸.•'

Last edited at 18/06/28(Thu)01:28:24
>> No. 21185 edit
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>>21184

Beatrice frowned. "Little-remarked upon addendum that Dlanor pointed out once. Passages violate no Knox if they are properly hinted at in the tale. So I take offense to you calling it a secret passage."

She presses her lips together, then waves a hand, annoyed. "Alright. There was a hole behind the bookcase in the VIP room large enough to put Shannon's body in vertically." Happy, detective? You've exposed some shoddy workmanship in my bedroom." She huffs.
>> No. 21186 edit
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21186
It is a really well-constructed game I would say... When one reaches the end, he could be forgiven for suspecting one of the dead for Shannon's murder. But it doesn't seem any death was faked, as the Doctor clearly checked all the bodies. They were obviously real...

However! The Doctor could tell something was off about the bodies, and he also was unable to completely identify them! It is possible some or all of the corpses of the first twilight belong to people other than those they were presumed to belong to, namely Natsuhi, Rosa, Eva, Hideyoshi, Nanjo and Genji! Krauss and Nanjo were discussing something about supplies, perhaps supplies needed to create fake corpses, and it is obvious Krauss had a hand in drugging those at the parlor, as he is the one who convinced Shannon to switch cups. Those cups were lined with a sedative! Nanjo avoided drinking, that's why his cup was still nearly full! Afterwards, Krauss and Nanjo could have moved the drugged bodies somewhere safe, and planted the fake corpses, which they proceeded to splash with blood. But they did a poor job at that, allowing the Doctor to notice their incompetence! How's that, witch?!
>> No. 21187 edit
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21187
>>21186

Beatrice looked surprised at the new detective, then frowned and clicked her tongue. "Tch. I don't even feel the need to dignify those with a response. I refuse to refute them, with no further explanation. What about the other murders, hmm?"
>> No. 21189 edit
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21189
...So that's how it's going to be, eh?

I'll admit it's been a long time since I've tested my wits against a Game Master of your caliber. I might be a bit rusty...

"What about the other murders," you say? Are there any other murders, witch? Sure, we've seen some corpses, but how do we know they are what they seem to be? For starters, how many people are on the island? I'm asking about both the initial state and the final state of the gameboard, of course. And among those seemingly killed, how many did actually die?

I have my theories of course, but I'm hesitant to lay all my cards on the table so early. You're only giving me one shot at a final answer, Cluedo-style, after all. All I'll say for now is that I have a multiple culprit theory, with two groups of killers operating independent of each other. Care to dignify that with a response?
>> No. 21190 edit
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>>21189

The witch chuckled dryly. "I'm not obligated to respond to anything not in blue that I do not wish to. Still, you seem somewhat accomplished, new detective, so I shall welcome you and honor that with a red that might help you. On October 4th and 5th, 1986, the time portrayed on this gameboard, Kinzo, Krauss, Natsuhi, Jessica, Eva, Hideyoshi, George, Rudolf, Kyrie, Battler, Rosa, and Maria Ushiromiya existed on the island. Genji, Gohda, Kumasawa, Shannon, Kanon, and Nanjo existed on the island. The Doctor existed on the island.
At no point for those two days were there any living humans on the island aside from those listed here.
I would find it tedious to list the dead underground, after all, and Captain Kawabata never disembarked."

She smiled. "As for your actual blue, I'll grant you that it is an interesting theory. Still, there is only one culprit. A culprit is one with murderous intent."
>> No. 21191 edit
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21191
Uhwa! What am I gonna do now?! There goes my super special awesome theory about the Ushiromiya sub-families trying to out-kill each other! What a shame! Bern-chan would have loved it! Gah!


Heh. Just kidding. I didn't really like that theory to begin with.
>> No. 21192 edit
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21192
To be honest though, I expected as much. Such a game would be unlike you, I can tell. Thank you for your kind words, as well as your red truth. I had already guessed that much, so I'm sorry to have you vouch for this board's integrity, but after playing through so many unsavory games of cruel witches, one cannot help but be a little cautious.

Now! Back to the drawing board. My primary suspects are 4 individuals, but I will not name them yet. If the Doctor could arrive at a conlusion with the evidence presented to him, then so could we. That doesn't necessarily mean his conclusion is the correct one, but it seems to me it would be. Let's go by elimination. You still haven't refuted my blue from earlier...

The tea cups Krauss instructed Shannon to use had a sedative already in them. The six people in the parlor bar Nanjo drank from their cups and fell asleep, then Nanjo helped Krauss carry the sedated five to Kinzo's study and replaced them in the parlor with dummy corpses from the chapel. That is, real corpses, recently deceased, splashed with blood to appear fresh. Afterwards the parlor was locked from the outside. The people those corpses belonged to are considered "victims", right? Even if they are not those assumed to be by the survivors. Your "the parlor door was locked after the victims died" red will not be contradicted like this.

Refute this if you can, Beatrice-san. Between you and me, I'm actually hoping that you will. I'm just testing the waters for now, since I don't want to be drawn in by the maelstrom that is your magic...
>> No. 21193 edit
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21193
>>21192

The witch frowned. "I don't think I will put the red to this yet, but instead will point out a hole in your blue. You say the door was locked after they left the parlor. However, assuming Nanjo and Krauss did this, as you suggest, neither had a key to do this. How, then, was the door locked?"

She grinned. "Food for thought. Carry on with another mystery if you feel it is unimportant."
>> No. 21194 edit
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21194
Hmm, that's troubling. You are constantly evading. Is it because I'm making a fool of myself, or have I hit the nail right on the head...

Very well! Have it your way. I'll leave the 1st twilight for later. On to the second twilight! The chain was not set when the culprit went to enter the room. Either the victims let the culprit in, or they had not set the chain at all. After killing the two, the culprit used a device to set the chain from the outside, like the Doctor suggested.
>> No. 21195 edit
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>>21194

The witch laughed. "Impossible! I will tell you as I told him! The chain lock cannot be set from the outside. After all, if you dislike me giving you some line, I should reel you in a little, yes?"
>> No. 21196 edit
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21196
Heh, I wouldn't have it any other way...

I'll revise my hypothesis. The culprit set the chain from the inside and hid under the bed or in the closet or in some other hiding place within the room. While the Doctor was in the bathroom, the culprit slid out of their hiding place and pretended to have just arrived at the scene.
>> No. 21197 edit
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>>21196

The witch either winced, or winked. It was hard to say. Either way, she then said, "And we let the fish pull away again, so that it thinks it's free. I refuse to give a blocking red to that. I won't explain why."
>> No. 21203 edit
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>>21197

Heh, keep pretending all you want! It's obvious I got ya there!

Third twilight! The culprit killed Krauss while the Doctor and Jessica were at the chapel! Then hurriedly digged a ditch, threw him in and pierced his head with the gardening stake. The shovel the Doctor noticed was the one used for that.

Oh, and while at it, the culprit killed Kanon too, dumped his body in the boiler room, put Kinzo in the furnace, and even prepared the trap that would later kill Kumasawa. Plenty of time to do all of that!
>> No. 21236 edit
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>>21203

"Hoh?" said Beatrice. "Think you're on a roll, do you? Remember, though, the shovel wasn't the only thing of note about the area around the body! If the ditch had been dug while the Doctor was at the chapel, after the rain had stopped, there shouldn't have been the amount of rainwater found around the body. That should make the time a bit clearer to you, shouldn't it, detective?"

The witch grinned, like the cat who ate the canary.
>> No. 21237 edit
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>>21236

I remember all too well. I remember the Doctor taking note of "some long garden hoses"! The water in the ditch was not rainwater at all! It came from the water supply!
>> No. 21241 edit
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21241
>>21237

The witch looked shocked, then looked down. "It's...true. The hoses could have been used to fill up the ditch with water..." She sighed and began to look listless. "Hoses are useful like that. You can do other stuff too..." she trailed off.

Then she looked up. "Like tie nooses with them! The garden hoses were not used to fill the ditch by the shed!"
>> No. 21243 edit
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>>21241

Then, how about this! Water from the garden pots outside the shed was used to fill the ditch. The pots were then refilled with water from the hoses!
>> No. 21261 edit
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>>21243

Beatrice kept cackling for a bit, letting it gradually die down. She waved her hand dismissively as she calmed, finally saying, "Yes, yes, you seem to have an answer for anything. Anything to keep this fantasy of yours that he died after the rain paused alive, it seems. I grow tired of this spot, though. Really it wasn't my favorite killing, I just enjoyed the novelty of making the outside world a locked room."

She regained her composure, and grinned a predatory grin. "So I refuse to deny that blue...for now. Look forward to a response later though... So! What shall you prod at next, detective?"
>> No. 21263 edit
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>>21261

The outside world was a closed room? Bah, someone's just lying.

I won't prod at anything new. I've already presented a hypothesis for the fifth, sixth, and seventh twilights. Won't you be kind enough to address it, witch?

Last edited at 18/09/11(Tue)04:31:43
>> No. 21275 edit
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>>21263

"So...it sounds like you feel that you've got it all figured out, eh?" said the witch, slowly. "I suppose it's time to take off the kid gloves then. Here's some red to keep in mind, detective..."

She looked the detective in the eye, and then fired shot after shot of red.

First Twilight: Neither Nanjo nor Krauss locked the parlor door. At no point were any of the victims hidden in Kinzo's study (either living or dead).

Second twilight: Rudolf's watch was indeed smashed and stopped in the scuffle with the culprit. The culprit did not tamper with it afterwards.

Fourth twilight: The garden hoses were never used!


"And lastly..."

There were no accomplices! The definition of accomplice is one who knows the culprit's identity and knowingly aids in their scheme!

She exhales. "Very well, detective. Give me a cohesive blue, taking into account all that, and maybe I'll let you take a shot at the culprit."
>> No. 21278 edit
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>>21275

No accomplices??? That's impossible! It can't happen! How did-

Heh. Of course. I was looking at it the wrong way! I expected an accomplice where I didn't need one!

But that won't come in play just yet. Back to the fourth twilight! Krauss was killed during the time the Doctor would have been sleeping. The culprit slipped out, killed him, then returned. After all, Krauss left the mansion "30 minutes" before the Doctor's group arrived. I can't imagine the walk from the guesthouse to the mansion taking more than 5 minutes, and Jessica would have woken the Doctor up pretty quickly once the eye hit. Therefore, the culprit had about 20 minutes to kill Krauss and prepare the scene.

And that leaves even more time for the culprit to prepare the fifth, sixth and seventh twilights during the eye of the storm, as I reasoned earlier.
>> No. 21287 edit
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>>21278

"That would make it far too easy, wouldn't you think?"

From the time the Doctor and the others entered the guesthouse and locked it to the time that they all left again to go to the mansion, the only human who could have left the mansion or the guesthouse was Krauss.
>> No. 21290 edit
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>>21287

Indeed, it would be far too easy that way. But all this red you've given me narrows everything down so much.

Krauss dug the ditch himself while it was still raining, but the culprit killed him while the Doctor and Jessica were occupied with the chapel.

Unless of course Krauss faked his death using a dummy corpse, but my money's not on that. Maybe he was planning to do that, but the culprit got to him first.
>> No. 21291 edit
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>>21290

"It is so lovely when an opponent thinks they have you beat, but slowly begin to realize they've backed themselves into a corner," chuckled Beatrice softly.

Krauss did not did the ditch.
>> No. 21294 edit
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>>21291

What about my second blue? No, wait. That's not it. It's related to your previous red, right?

The Doctor did not personally see to it that the guesthouse was locked, but entrusted that task to the people that were with him, namely, the cousins! One of them, either purposefully, or accidentally, left a door or window unlocked. Thus the guesthouse was never 'locked', and anyone 'could' have left the guesthouse, as your red so wonderfully allows!
>> No. 21300 edit
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>>21294

"Hmm, I do suppose that does get around my red, yes..." murmured the witch. Then she shrugged. "When in doubt, add more red."

The cousins dutifully made sure that all entrances and exits for the guesthouse were locked after they entered with the Doctor and the Doctor asked them to.
>> No. 21302 edit
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>>21300

But can the same be said of the mansion? One of the servants snuck out, killed Krauss, then returned in time to meet the Doctor and the cousins.

No, that won't do. Your red covers this possibility too. I will supplement with this! The servant in question left the mansion before the guesthouse was locked!


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