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15832 No. 15832 edit
Previous Thread >>15381

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mezmjTz8Cks

You and the others ascend the stairs, quickly catching up to the rest of the group as you approach the landing of the top floor. Jessica and Natsuhi are hanging back, and the latter appears to be whispering something to Genji, who nods sagely.

At the front of the group are Kumasawa and Rudolf, and you hear a click as the maid's master key is used to open the doors. They swing open, and the group moves as one, entering Kinzo's luxurious study, and move towards a gun case that's visible from the doorway.

Moments later, Rudolf grabs a gun, handing two others to Natsuhi and Kyrie, and they begin checking each room in turn. It quickly becomes apparent that Kinzo isn't present, and everyone relaxes, for now.

Last edited at 14/08/17(Sun)15:57:56
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>> No. 15860 edit
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"Genji-san, just to clarify, how many keys can be used to open the door to this study?"
>> No. 15861 edit
"Only the master keys, and Master Kinzo's personal key can open this door." Genji states calmly, to which Kyrie coughs, and adds her own contribution.

"Of course, if Father is the culprit, it's safe to say he has his hands on the master key Gohda lost. At this point, that means he could theoretically get into any room he wanted, correct?"

"All bar Master Krauss' study, yes." Genji replies.

Whilst you talk, everyone begins to mill about, beginning to comb over the various oddities that make up the study. In this room alone, there are various chemicals and mysterious bottles in cabinets, in addition to a chess table in one corner. Between two imposing sets of armour sits a huge desk, and an almost throne-like chair. In addition, you can see that other doors branch off into further rooms that are part of the study. Indeed, it would be more accurate to call this an apartment, from what you can see.
>> No. 15862 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
I'll examine the chessboard and the desk more closely. If there are any drawers or compartments in the desk, I'll attempt to look inside them.
>> No. 15863 edit
Jessica, having already approached the desk, moves aside to let you examine at, and returns to Natsuhi's side, who is currently lingering near a bookshelf by the door.

The chessboard seems to have been left partway through a game; white has lost their queen, and black seems to be in a strong position.

The desk is inlaid with leather and gold, and even has a place mat for a drink encompassed in the design. On top of it lies a small stack of stationary, various writing implements, and a photo-frame, all neatly arranged. the photo frame contains an image of what appears to be some of the main residents of Rokkenjima, all around this very desk.

Seated in the throne-like chair is a white-haired man who you assume to be Ushiromiya Kinzo. To his left stand Krauss and Natsuhi, and to his right stands Genji. In front of the desk stands Jessica, and a young, dark-haired male who you fail to recognize. Everyone seems to be in good spirits, even Genji has managed to crack a smile for the occasion.

Most of the drawers seem to be locked, but two open when you attempt to pull them out. The first contains several empty envelopes, all bearing the symbol of the one-winged eagle, identical to those that contained the letter from the witch and the will, and one containing a letter.

The second drawer is built into the top of the desk, and would be missed in a basic search, but you identify it easily. Within is another of the embossed envelopes, this one also containing some sort of letter.
>> No. 15864 edit
File 135227252415.png - (775.70KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Protest.png )
I'll close the drawers for now and turn around to address Jessica and Natsuhi. "Pardon me for asking, but I'm curious, who is the dark-haired man in this photo? I've never seen him before."
>> No. 15865 edit
Jessica and Natsuhi seem hesitant to respond, but before things can get awkward, Rudolf saunters over and picks up the frame, at which point Natsuhi finally responds.

"... That would be Kanon. He was one of the servants here for a period of about two years or so." Rudolf raises an eyebrow at this, before setting the frame down, and going back to his inspection of the gun cabinet.
>> No. 15866 edit
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"......I see."

I'll turn back to the desk, reopen the drawers and open both of the unopened envelopes, checking the letters inside.
>> No. 15867 edit
The one you found with the other envelopes reads as follows.

"Dearest Members of the Ushiromiya Family, and Guests,

My apologies for any inconveniences this may cause you, but Ushiromiya Kinzo no longer resides on Rokkenjima. Like the others who have since departed your company, he has become my guest in the Golden Land. I hope that you didn't require him urgently.

Beatrice the Golden."

The letter from the hidden drawer reads as follows.

"1986, August 28th

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

I leave the title of family head and all my worldly possessions to my one true heir, Ushiromiya .... . Let it be known that all my other children have done little to impress me, and have failed my final challenge. With this gift, I curse them all.

The name of the heir mentioned in the will has been furiously scribbled out. Furthermore, the will appears to have never been signed nor witnessed.
>> No. 15868 edit
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I'll place the first letter back in the drawer and then hold up the second one to show to the others. "Well, this is certainly interesting, isn't it? I don't suppose anyone has any guesses as to whose name was scribbled out? What do you think, everyone...?"
>> No. 15869 edit
Upon hearing you, everyone begins to clamor near the desk, struggling to get a view of the document. Given the size of your group, it's impossible for everyone to see it at once, and everyone struggles to be the first to see what you've uncovered. Kumasawa in particular makes a big show of complaining about people nudging her, and then when someone finally gives her a view, complaining that she can't read without her glasses. After a significant amount of time and shuffling about has passed, discussion breaks out. It appears that no-one here was even familiar with the first will's existence.

"Whoever scribbled it out did so very thoroughly. I can't think of any trick to get an imprint off of it that would work." Kyrie mutters.

"Still, at least this clears up one thing. It looks like Krauss wasn't the first person to solve the epitaph. Stands in contrast to the latter will though, huh? Begging our forgiveness after cursing us..." George speaks next, and is shortly followed by Battler.

"Hey, Genji, do you know anything about this? ... Genji?"

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ_St-C3HdM

No-one replies. The group looks around, and it suddenly becomes apparent that not everyone had been looking at the will. Eva, Jessica, Genji and Natsuhi appear to have vanished.
>> No. 15870 edit
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"...Maybe they went into another part of the study? There are several rooms in here, after all...We should split up and search for them right away."
>> No. 15871 edit
Everyone quickly splits up and begins covering the study, room by room. Kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, closet, library... It quickly becomes apparent that the four of them are no longer in Kinzo's floor of the mansion. Furthermore, the windows you find in each have all been locked from the inside. It looks like there's no chance of them having slipped out that way.

"How...? They were right here! Right before we looked at the will, all four of them were here!" Gohda in particular seems to be finding this difficult to swallow, mopping his brow with the back of his hand repeatedly.

"Shh. Did you hear that?" Rudolf raises a hand, before crouching to the floor, and pressing his ear to it. Everyone falls silent. A moment later, you hear it. A soft, heavy 'thud' from somewhere beneath you. It doesn't sound again.
>> No. 15872 edit
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"I think we should go downstairs and look for them. We should be safe as long as we stick together, and since the culprit has a master key, it's not like we're any safer here than we would be anywhere else anyway. Regardless of whatever that noise was, it's far too dangerous to let them wander around on their own, don't you think?"
>> No. 15873 edit
The others nod, and proceed out. Rudolf takes point, gun raised, and begins heading down the stairs. The rest of you follow at some distance.

As you reach the landing of the second floor, Rudolf checks left and right, before moving to the stairs down, at which point he shouts something incoherently. For a moment, he looks like he's going to shoot, but he suddenly lowers the gun, and a smile springs to his features. "You need to stop being so damn silent. I was this close to putting a bullet in you."

Genji ascends the stairs, still in the process of lowering his raised arms, and anticipating your questions, offers a quick explanation. "Madam Natsuhi asked me to accompany her here, then ordered me to keep watch at the bottom of the stairs, after we were certain that no-one else was on this floor. She mentioned retrieving the radio from her room..."

He points to one of the doors to the left of the staircase, past Krauss' room. Kyrie runs over to open it, only to find the door unwilling go give. After cursing loudly, she demands that Genji unlock it, and he does so. She then charges in.
>> No. 15874 edit
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I run in after her, of course.
>> No. 15875 edit
File 140831127664.jpg - (51.12KB , 640x480 , scr_32.jpg )
BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNl4PNFubvQ

The room is, as you have become accustomed to now, a mess. A bookshelf has been tipped over near the door, and countless trinkets and glass items have fallen and shattered across the floor. From here, you can see a single, bloody handprint on the window, in addition to further splatters across the room.

Beneath the heavy bookcase and a cascade of books is a a corpse, almost entirely obscured from view. The two parts you can see are the bloody stump where a head was once connected to the body, and an outstretched arm, tattooed with the one-winged eagle. It appears that this is Eva's corpse.
>> No. 15876 edit
File 132944758677.png - (174.50KB , 390x364 , Erika_ShockedPoint.png )
"Huh...What is going on here...?"

I turn around and address Genji. "Genji-san, were you aware of Eva-san following you here? Or Jessica-san, for that matter? Both of them disappeared from the study at the same time as you, but you didn't mention either of them..."
>> No. 15877 edit
Everyone has entered the room, and amidst a few noises of disgust, Genji addresses you loudly, his face unreadable. "When I left the study, it was only with Madam Natsuhi. I was not aware that either Madam Eva or Miss Jessica had come with us. I can only assume that Madam Eva must have entered the room after Madam Natsuhi ordered me to watch over the stairs. As for where Madam herself has gone, I am afraid I am none the wiser."
>> No. 15878 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
I'll perform a closer examination of the corpse. I'll then proceed to take a look at the bloody handprint on the window. If possible, I'll attempt to compare the shape to Eva's hand to see if it seems likely that it was made by her, and I'd also like to gauge the distance between the window with the handprint and the victim.
>> No. 15879 edit
An examination of the corpse is impossible with the bookcase as is, however Rudolf and Gohda lift it and the other debris off the body for you.

The torso appears to have suffered severe bruising, and you can feel the bulge of broken bones under the skin. There's no doubt that the bookcase must have come down with some force to inflict these injuries. That and the missing head aside, you find nothing of importance.

Whilst the hand size is similar, you cannot be certain that it is Eva's, although you note that her hand has be soaked in enough blood to leave such a print. However, the distance from the window to the corpse is far too great for her to have left it in her current position. Indeed, you surmise that you would have to be standing and facing the window to leave such a print.

Whilst checking the window, you note that it has been locked and closed from the inside. Furthermore, you find an unlabelled key near the window, which Kumasawa quickly identifies as being Natsuhi's key.

Whilst doing this, you notice that no-one has left the room since you all entered. It seems no more disappearing tricks are likely.
>> No. 15881 edit
File 140857392310.png - (796.74KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Disinterested2.png )
I hold up the key to the others. "...Genji-san, I'm sorry to keep asking you about keys all the time, but is this the only key that can open this door?"
>> No. 15885 edit
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Genji shakes his head. "If that were true, we would not have been able to get in here. With the exception of Master Krauss' room, all doors in the mansion can be opened and locked with a master key." His words ring in your head, searing themselves into your memory painfully.

Meanwhile, Kyrie and Rudolf are poking through the various items that had fallen on Eva, tossing them away after a cursory examination. "Glass, books on etiquette , twine, more glass, some funky mirror... No sign of a diary."

"Well, it scarcely matters, does it? I think we can all agree on one thing." Kyrie stands up, addressing the room as a whole. "What Genji says doesn't add up, and Kumasawa's already lied to us once.

Clearly, Natsuhi is working with the culprit, and the servants have been aiding her in hiding this."
>> No. 15888 edit
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"I wouldn't be so sure of that, Kyrie-san. A detective should never eliminate any possibility! After all, if Natsuhi-san really was an accomplice, why would she make it this obvious?

It's possible that Natsuhi genuinely did enter this room to get her radio. The culprit and Eva could have arrived in this room after Natsuhi left! After all, I don't see a radio in this room, do you? The culprit and Eva could already have been in this corridor before Natsuhi and Genji arrived, so Genji wouldn't have seen them. ...Well, there are a lot of other ways that you could reorder the events, but it's entirely possible for neither Natsuhi nor Genji to be involved in this crime!!"
>> No. 15891 edit
You barrage of blue smashes the world around you, and you and Kyrie fall into that familiar, shadowy area where you faced Battler.

"Is that so? Well then, if Genji isn't lying, where is Natsuhi? Natsuhi couldn't have gone back to the study, and if Genji isn't lying, she can't have gone downstairs.

Rudolf fitters into existence briefly, adding his wife's assault. "I don't like fighting against a child, but my wife's right. Gohda and I just checked the hallway, and right now, no-one is hiding in Krauss' room, nor any of the other guest rooms on this floor."

Last edited at 14/08/20(Wed)16:08:58
>> No. 15892 edit
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"Natsuhi-san was only restricted from leaving during the time that Genji-san was watching the stairs. She could have escaped any time after he left his post to come with us! For example, let's say she hid in one of the guestrooms after Eva-san's murder, and then once we all came rushing to the scene, she slipped past and ran downstairs to the first floor for some unknown reason!"
>> No. 15894 edit
"... Nnngh!" You blue strikes Kyrie squarely in the chest, and her eyes bulge. Unlike her son, however, it seems she's unwilling to concede her point so easily, despite her clear loss.

"Devil's Proof? Is that the best you can do?! If she's not guilty, she had no reason to run downstairs! Natsuhi's key being here is proof of her involvement! Her running away with the only means of communicating with the outside world is proof of her involvement!"

Before Kyrie can go any further, Rudolf lays a hand on her shoulder. "Easy there girl. Shout any louder and you'll burst a blood vessel. There' no proof either way."

The shadowy world begins to fade once again, and you're deposited back in Eva's room.
>> No. 15915 edit
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"Well, I think the easiest way of confirming that would be to find her and ask her ourselves. And we still need to find Jessica-san, too, so perhaps it would be a good idea to search downstairs before we let them get too much of a lead on us."

Before leaving, though, I'll do a quick check of the trinkets and glass scattered over the floor to see if anything particularly stands out.
>> No. 15916 edit
"... And who put you in charge, Erika?" Kyrie's tone is sour, and judging by the look on her face, she's still sore about having lost your clash of wits. "I have another idea. Battler." She beckons the boy over, and plants her rifle in his hands, giving him a stern gaze. "You, Erika and George check this floor once more, then check downstairs."

"And what about us?" Rudolf interjects, gesturing to himself and the servants. "Are we just going to sit around with our feet up?"

"Hardly. We're going to get to the bottom of this before any more corpses show up. If this is all happening because Krauss failed the epitaph's riddle, then we're going to solve it. I heard Eva mention something about the chapel to Erika. Let's head there first. Of course, you're all coming with us." She gestures to the servants as a whole, her eyes narrowing. "I still find it hard to believe that all this has happened without any of you knowing. Rudolf, if any of them try and sneak off..."

"Way ahead of you." With a smug smirk, Rudolf shepards the servants (and Nanjo) outside, and Kyrie hangs back, eying you with a steely glare before giving one last, hushed remark. "As soon as we're out, we'll lock the front door, and I'll leave this wedged in the hinge." She produces a receipt from her pocket. "If you notice the front doors open, or that the receipt is missing, come straight to us."

Despite this knock to your plans, you still check around Eva's corpse. It's as Rudolf said, most of the debris seems to be glassware, silverware and books. The only thing that stands out is a long, durable length of twine.
>> No. 15917 edit
File 140865130776.png - (786.47KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Angry.png )
I pocket the twine, then wait until the others are out of earshot before yelling at Battler and George.

"Dammit, who does she think she is!? Hey, you two can't possibly be happy about this, can you? They've left the three of us alone when there's a murderer nearby!? It would be suicidal to stay here...Battler, George, how about we follow the others outside? We could stay out of sight and follow them to the chapel...I don't want to miss out on the solving of the epitaph, do you?"

Last edited at 14/08/21(Thu)13:01:47
>> No. 15918 edit
George opens his mouth to say something, but battler cuts him off, hoisting his new rifle proudly. "No need to get riled up, Erika. Firstly, we have a gun. Secondly, Dad said he checked Krauss' room and the guest room, right? All we need to do is take a look in Jessica's room, then we can head downstairs. As for after that... Well, how about we cross that bridge when we get to it." With a cocky smile, he strides out of the room, and heads down the corridor. George finally speaks up. "Erika, I want to agree with you, but Battler has the only gun now. We pretty much have to go along with what he says while he's got it-"

You hear a muttered curse, followed by a gunshot in the hallway. George jumps in shock, before rushing outside.
>> No. 15919 edit
File 138904588320.png - (152.78KB , 340x366 , Erika_Shocked.png )
I run outside after him.
>> No. 15920 edit
You run outside, and, surprisingly, find no corpse. Judging by George's hysterical shouting, and the fact that the door to one of the rooms now has a mangled lock, it looks like Battler tried to break into Jessica's room.

As if inviting you, the door swings open, unnoticed by Battler and George as they continue to argue.
>> No. 15921 edit
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I'll try to go into Jessica's room while Battler and George are distracted.
>> No. 15922 edit
Battler pokes his head in to ensure no-one's present inside, before allowing you in. It seems that he and George are content to let you investigate alone.

The room is sparsely decorated, containing only a bed, a desk, and a bedside table. Two other doors are present, one leading to a walk-in wardrobe, the other to an en-suite bathroom. As seems to be standard for all the rooms you've visited, the window is closed and locked.
>> No. 15923 edit
File 135322925326.png - (775.35KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Wary.png )
I'll examine everything in the room - checking under the bed, any drawers in the desk, and the bedside table - before opening the wardrobe.
>> No. 15924 edit
The bed has been made, however underneath it you find a scrap of torn, crumpled paper, pushed to one corner. You pocket it for now.

On the bedside table, you spot a typical teenage girl's diary. It's locked, but the mechanism seems flimsy, and you thing you could force it open.

On the desk lies an envelope, embossed with the one-winged eagle. You pocket that too, keeping it with the paper.

Finally, you step in front of the wardrobe door, take a deep breath, and fling it open.

There's no-one inside, however, judging by the clothes that have knocked from the hangers, someone was until quite recently. Furthermore, it appears that some of the clothes, specifically those that have been knocked down, have a little blood on them.
>> No. 15925 edit
File 140589059012.png - (156.24KB , 340x366 , Erika_Condescending2.png )
Being the wonderful intellectual rapist that I am, I'll force open the diary and skim it for anything interesting. I'll also check whether the paper under the bed seems like it came from the diary.

After that, I'll open the envelope and read the letter.
>> No. 15926 edit
The lock gives with surprising ease, and you soon see why. Someone appears to have already opened it, and most of the pages have been torn out. Those that haven't have been scribbled through so forcefully at parts that the pages have ripped. Still, you manage to pick up the odd word here and there. It's mostly drivel, but you notice that as you progress through to the end of the book, you find 'Kanon', 'Shanon' and 'Father' recurring more and more frequently. The only page intact is a drawing near the back of the diary. It's pretty crude, but you think that it depicts Jessica and two servants sitting on a bench. Whilst the drawing is childish, it has a certain charm to it.

The page has indeed been torn from the diary. Mercifully, it seems to be intact, and is dated 2 days before your arrival on the island. It reads as follows.

'This is my last chance to try and convince Father of his folly. Kanon will not listen to reason, and Mother refuses to acknowledge my concerns about this plan. She has become enamored with the concept of it.

Kanon, if you're reading this, please, listen to me. Family is not a title that is given, it is something that is earned through trust and friendship. It's not too late for us to turn back.'

Finally, the embossed envelope contains a scrap of paper, on which two words have been hurriedly written.

the portrait
>> No. 15927 edit
File 138217411814.png - (151.51KB , 340x366 , Erika_1.png )
For the sake of being thorough, I'll check the bathroom as well.
>> No. 15928 edit
The bathroom contains nothing of significance.

You hear Battler call from the hallway. "Hey Erika, what happened to being in a rush to catch up with everyone?"
>> No. 15929 edit
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I leave Jessica's room and rejoin the others.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I just got caught up in my investigation. It was quite productive, though, as you can see."

I show them the diary page. "Would either of you have any idea what this 'plan' is referring to?"
>> No. 15930 edit
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BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcTxd5qQChw

"... I have no idea. George, you got anything?"

"I never heard anything about it. Still, I guess this explains why Jessica was in such an odd mood, right? If her parents were trying to do something shady on the weekend of the conference, then it makes sense that she'd be upset."

"What's this about Kanon, though? He wasn't here, hasn't been for a year I though, right?"

"So Jessica said at dinner. I... Do you think Natsuhi forced her to say that or something?"

"... Damnit. Jessica, what have you gotten into?"

George turns to you suddenly, his face full of concern. "Was there anything else in that diary?"
>> No. 15931 edit
File 13561782321.png - (771.27KB , 968x1041 , Erika_ConfidentSmile.png )
"Unfortunately, most of it was torn or scribbled out. I suspect that Jessica-san came here to do that just now, since there were signs that someone had been in there recently. Even that page I just showed you was hidden under the bed. ...Still, there was one other thing of note."

I show him the drawing.
>> No. 15932 edit
"Are you saying we just missed her? Damnit!" George seems on the verge of tears, but he makes the effort to inspect the drawing. "I... It looks like something she would draw. I remember Natsuhi used to dislike that she never tried to improve her art. I'd guess that it's Shanon and Kanon next to her, then."
>> No. 15933 edit
File 135350933352.png - (774.03KB , 968x1041 , Erika_Thoughtful.png )
"In any case...There was also an envelope that looked like those ones that Kinzo-sama keeps in his study. The message inside was rather concise, though..."

I show them the scrap of paper. "What do you think? It could be a trap, but it's not like we can avoid the portrait if we're going downstairs anyway."
>> No. 15934 edit
Battler smirks, and hefts the rifle. "It seems like a good first port of call to me. Either Jessica left it for us, or the culprit has something prepared for us. Good thing we have a surprise for them. Let's go."

Battler heads off, taking the stairs slowly, and George looks at you before following him.
>> No. 15935 edit
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I follow along behind them.
>> No. 15936 edit
You reach the bottom of the stairs, and the three of you come to a halt in front of the portrait of your tormentor. Beatrice's smile sends a chill through you, as always, and even the other two seem to shiver.

"... What now? We're here, but there's nothing. At least, I can't see anything." Battler huffs, and turns to face the door, rifle raised. He beckons you and George over to the portrait to take a closer look.
>> No. 15937 edit
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I move closer to the portrait with them. "You know, this is the third time I've seen this portrait, and every time I find myself shivering. I noticed Kyrie-san had the same reaction before, and you two just now, too...At first I thought it was just the portrait creeping me out, but I could swear the actual temperature drops whenever we come here. Am I just imagining things here, or...what, could there be some kind of secret refrigeration system behind the portrait or something? I'm not sure, but it seems odd, don't you think?"

Last edited at 14/08/21(Thu)15:15:07
>> No. 15938 edit
"... You're right. It's colder here than the rest of the mansion." George rubs his arms, before standing next to the portrait, and sliding his hands behind it, a grim smile dawning on his face. "There's a breeze back here. I know we all joked about Grandfather having secret passages, but this is just silly..." With a heave and a grunt, George pushes the painting, and a quiet click emanates from behind it.

Slowly, the whole thing swings forwards, revealing a dimly lit tunnel, descending down steep steps and coiling out of sight. Battler whistles in marvel, lowering the gun for a few moments. "... I guess we're checking it out?"
>> No. 15939 edit
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"Guess so!"

I'll wait for Battler and George go down before following.
>> No. 15940 edit
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Battler and George hurry on ahead, and you follow suit. However, no sooner do you pass through the doorway than it begins to swing back shut, and you're quickly cut off from the rest of the mansion. Worse, you can't see a handle or a lever on the back of whatever the portrait was mounted on. It seems you're trapped.

The stairs are steep, and climbing down them takes time. Every here and there, you spot a brown-ish stain on the stone, however it's difficult to identify under the poor lighting.

The two boys quickly push on ahead, and you soon lose sight of them. The only sounds are those of their footsteps echoing back up.

Last edited at 14/08/21(Thu)15:35:39
>> No. 15941 edit
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I'll keep heading down, I suppose.
>> No. 15942 edit
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After what feels like an endless amount of time, you reach the end of the narrow passage, and it opens up into some sort of dock. A boat seems to be berthed within the cave, however, no-one seems to be present. As you look around, you notice another passage stretching out into the darkness, but before you can investigate it, you hear a despair-filled, hopeless groan.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dORf0tLaSn8

You wheel about, looking for the source of the noise, and notice, hidden away in a dark corner of the cavern, another door, wide open. The room within is lit, and you can see the glimmer of gold at the back of it. The noise certainly came from in there.
>> No. 15943 edit
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I go toward the noise.
>> No. 15944 edit
You enter the room. The back wall is stacked to about waist-height with gold, and as your gaze comes down, you notice scratch marks on the floor.

Your gaze sweeps right, towards the figure of Battler, holding the rifle limply at his side.

Next to him, George, on his knees, covering his face with his hands, sobbing grossly.

In front of him, Jessica sits with her back to the wall, legs outstretched. The left side of her face has been completely smashed in, and just a little distance away is a bloodied metal pipe, covered with grey matter. You crouch closer to investigate. The corpse is deathly cold, the blood black, and clotted. The facial wound is the only one you can see.

As you reel backwards, Battler's eyes drift away, to the door. His mouth agape, he manages to get out a few words, before staggering backwards.

"Impossible... You're..."

His gun falls from his hands, and you hear the footsteps of someone entering the room. You spin, and as your head turns, the world crumbles away. George is gone. Battler is gone.

The witch of the painting stands before you, in all her glory.
>> No. 15945 edit
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"So it's finally time for us to meet face-to-face, is it, Beatrice? I trust you received my challenge earlier?"
>> No. 15946 edit
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Beatrice's face is a grim mask as she addresses you, the world around you taking on a new shape as she speaks.

"Yours wasn't the challenge I was expecting to deal with, but nonetheless, I'll face you here."

The arena takes shape, as Beatrice makes her proclamation. "My win condition may be unreachable, but the least I can do is trap you in a closed room of red for your troubles! Prepare yourself, Furudo Erika!"
>> No. 15947 edit

Ushiromiya Kinzo - Missing at the time of the game's suspension (The ever-convenient scapegoat.)

Ushiromiya Krauss - Victim of the first clause (Inheriting the headship means inheriting the head's fate.)

Ushiromiya Hideyohsi - Victim of the first clause (and that's all he was in this game.)

Ushiromiya Rosa - Victim of the second clause (The witch's revenge completed, after over twenty years.)

Ushiromiya Maria - Victim of the second clause (Who cares, it's only Maria.)

Ushiromiya Eva - Victim of the third clause (Her meddling and research won her naught but the witch's ire.)

Ushiromiya Natsuhi - Missing at the time of the game's suspension (She's so suspicious she must have been framed, right?)

Ushiromiya Jessica - Victim of the fourth clause (but at least she kept her head.)

Ushiromiya Rudolf - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Ushiromiya Kyrie - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Ushiromiya Battler - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Ushiromiya George - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Genji Ronoue - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Kumasawa Chiyo - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Toshiro Gohda - Alive at the time of the game's suspension

Furudo Erika - Alive at the time of the game's conclusion

Neither side is victorious at this time, however the Witch has declared an end to the game until one side has fallen.

Endgame Thread: http://www.seacats.net/gameboard/res/15948.html
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