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20615 No. 20615 edit

"Come on, Beato, you and I both know it's been slow..." said Rudolf, chasing Beatrice (who was wearing her casual clothes) down the hallway backstage of the theater. "We haven't put on a decent show for months. Face it, we need something new to spice things up."

"Rudolf, things are never slow enough for me to need one of your suggestions." Beatrice tried to walk faster.

"That's not fair! I mean, look at what Goat-kun managed to give you once you gave him a chance! Who's to say mine will be any worse?!"

"Lawyers, I'd wager," she said. Still, she came to a halt.

Smiling, Rudolf replied, "Eh, alright, you may have me there, but there's plenty of things changed around so that I'm pretty sure we'll be fine. Even if we're not, well...I know people who are good at dodging things like that. We'll be fine!"

"My confidence in you overflows," replied Beato, oozing sarcasm. "Fine! Fine, you're right, we've been needing something fresh for a while..."

"And I've even gotten us a debut overseas!" said Rudolf, piling on the charm. "New audiences, ripe for the plucking! I mean, starved for entertainment!"

"Stop while you're ahead, Rudy," she frowned. "What's the catch?"

"Eh heh heh. Catch? Why would there be a catch?"


"Alright, well...we have about a month to rehearse."

"A month? Are you insane? Most of our troupe is on vacation!"

"Well that's what makes you a magical stage manager, isn't it? We put our trust in you! I'll go get Kyrie, you handle the rest, alright?" With that, he was off.

"Rudolf..." she said, gritting her teeth and accidentally crumpling the script he'd given her. Sighing, she looked at it and flipped through it.

"Oh yeah," she said to no one in particular. "We're gonna get sued..."

Last edited at 17/10/03(Tue)01:54:06
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>> No. 20616 edit
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I've created this classic gameboard in response to a Game Jam being made for the anniversary of the Rokkenjima Mass Murder Incident, 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.
-I will have MYSTERY or FANTASY (or UNIMPORTANT) at the top of every section.
-MYSTERY sections will be 100% fact. Anything said, done, or shown actually happened. Anything not said, done, or shown is up to interpretation.
-FANTASY sections may or may not be 100% fact, but could be. However, I will have leave to lie or alter absolutely anything I wish to. Skip them if you want, but they may have hints and clues in them.
-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!
>> No. 20617 edit


Lightning flashed, thunder pealed, and the rain continued to beat against the windows of the parlor of the Ushiromiya mansion. Sitting in an opulent chair near the door to the room, the head of the Ushiromiya family, Kinzo, looked out over those gathered.

Of course, his longtime servant, Genji, stood at his side, unmoving and as silent as a statue. His oldest friend, who also happened to be his doctor, Nanjo, stood awkwardly by, trying not to be in the way of the family. As far as his family went, his eldest son, Krauss, sat in a sofa with his back to the windows. At his side stood his faithful wife, Natsuhi, trying and failing to hide the fact that she was likely suffering from one of her chronic headaches. Beside Krauss sat Hideyoshi. His wife, Kinzo's eldest daughter Eva, was by a window having a hushed but emphatic discussion with her son, George. Almost directly opposite him, sitting in a small chair and looking like she'd have been happier anywhere else in the world was his youngest child, his daughter Rosa. As for his other son, Rudolf, he and his wife Kyrie were leaning against a wall, watching him watch the room, which made him smirk. They thought they could get a read on what his decision would be? How little they knew the great Kinzo Ushiromiya! Finally, two of his other grandchildren, Jessica and Battler, daughter and son of Krauss and Rudolf, respectively, were looking disgusted by the whole thing and had come to stand near the other side of the door from him. Jessica was practically sulking, standing there with crossed arms, while Battler was leaning back against the wall, his hands behind his head while he chewed on a piece of gum. Kinzo chuckled derisively at how they were almost like rodents trying to scurry away to the shadows, if only they could find an excuse.

There were others about on the island of Rokkenjima on this October 4th. The family chef, Gohda, had finished serving them dinner about a half hour previously, and he and the pretty young maid Shannon were presumably in the kitchen cleaning up and preparing after-dinner refreshments. The elderly maid Kumasawa was over in the guest house entertaining Rosa's daughter Maria, who was deemed too young to join in the discussion. The boy servant, Kanon, had been told to complete locking up the mansion, then to go to the guest house to join Kumasawa and Maria. Everyone had been together at once for dinner, but had drifted into their groups when Kinzo's children had stated that they had matters they wanted to discuss with him. All of their children had wanted to leave for the guest house, but Eva had held George back, which in turn made Natsuhi hold Jessica back as well. Battler, apparently not wanting to leave his cousins to face the storm alone, had then decided to remain.

While Kinzo had sat there silently for a half hour, he'd listened to his children bicker and argue about how each one was more deserving of his money, either in immediate loans or as an inheritance after he died. Eva had dragged George in to plead the case that he was so clearly a worthy successor to the Ushiromiya name and Krauss' daughter was so obviously horrible that their branch should be deemed the succeeding branch. This had clearly been news to George, who had immediately blunted his mother's maneuver by proclaiming that he wasn't worthy and Jessica should be the successor. Jessica, at that time, had found her voice and had actually somewhat rebelled against her own parents' wishes and had agreed with Eva that George was better. As that farce played out the room had fallen into chaos. It was revealed that each of Kinzo's children had discovered information that was essentially blackmail on all the others, and soon accusations were being shouted so loudly that no one could actually hear what they were being accused of.

When he had grown tired of being sickened by his worthless descendants, Kinzo had shouted, "Enough!" and the room had quickly assumed its current state. He knew they were waiting for him to pass judgment upon them, to lift up the worthy and strike down the worthless. In Kinzo's eyes, that meant there was only one possible decision, and he'd made it long before his family had arrived for their annual conference.

A soft knock came from the parlor door, which still managed to sound loud in this near-silence. Kinzo nodded at Genji, who opened the door and let Shannon in, who was pushing a serving cart loaded with brandy, tea, cups and glasses for either, a small crystal bowl that had been filled with roasted almonds, and, on the very bottom shelf, a long black box that had been tied with a deep purple ribbon.

Genji lifted the bowl of nuts and placed it on a side table within easy reach of Kinzo, and poured a glass of brandy for him from the snifter. Then he nodded to the room. "We have prepared some brandy and black tea to serve as after-dinner refreshments, if any would like them. Thank you, Shannon," he finished, looking to the serving girl. She bowed silently and left the way she had come, leaving the cart. Hardly anyone took notice of that, nor of the offered drinks, however. All eyes aside from Kinzo's and Genji's were locked on the black present that remained untouched. Kinzo noted the interest and grinned.

"Forgive them, Genji, I think they are hungry for what I've prepared for dessert. Who can guess what is in this box?" he asked.

"Is it your Will, Father?" asked Eva hopefully. In response, Kinzo only chuckled. Genji took the box from the shelf and placed it on the coffee table in front of Krauss and Hideyoshi. The others in the room, aside from Kinzo, crowded around, but none seemed to have the courage to open it until they were told to.

"I suppose it is, in a sense, Eva," he replied. "I have been watching you all since you were babes, and I have not been shy in letting you know that every single one of you have disappointed me. Krauss, you have the foresight of the Ushiromiya family, but you have bungled every opportunity set before you. Eva, you have ruthless cunning, yet your pride has left you completely unable to adapt to your situation. Rudolf, you have the deviousness of a snake, but your carelessness leaves you exposed. Rosa, I had great hopes for you once, yet you sabotaged yourself by being far too trusting and acting too early." He looked around at everyone in the room. "Similar faults and flaws can be found in your spouses and children. In short, I do not find a single one of you worthy to lead the Ushiromiya family when I am gone."

The entire room erupted in raised voices, but Kinzo's scowl was enough to quiet them again. "Nevertheless, I have decided that you all shall get one more chance to prove your worthiness, by displaying the single most important quality that I, Kinzo Ushiromiya, possess, and not a single one of you has ever shown: knowing precisely when to seize the moment." Taking a sip from his brandy, he stood up, bringing the glass with him. "I had considered making a riddle, but I realized that would simply test your wits. With this, I will test your resolve to make a miracle happen. Can you grasp the one in quadrillion chance when it appears before you?" With that, he set down his glass and undid the ribbon. Taking off the lid, he threw it away in a dramatic fashion.

Inside the box, nestled on a bed of black velvet, was one of Kinzo's prized sawed-off Winchester rifles. His relatives' eyes all widened in shock and confusion at this introduction of a deadly weapon into their midst. Kinzo chuckled. "We have problems. I am tired of leading a family of incompetent weaklings. You all want to take the reins so that you can get access to a lot of money right now. I propose a simple condition. The one among you who takes this opportunity to kill me shall inherit all my possessions, wealth, and the headship. This ring," he said, pointing towards the Ushiromiya Head ring on his finger, "shall only be taken over my dead body. If one of your claims it, Genji has instructions and legal paperwork to make all your dreams a reality." Smirking, he turned his back on his progeny, his trademark cloak billowing around him as he walked towards the door. "The only way any of you will see another cent of my fortune is for one of you to kill me. Now!"

He looked at them all, grinning madly, and he flicked the light switch by the door. The room went dark, then a second later was lit with a bright flash and a mercilessly loud bang. The windows shook. Natsuhi screamed. After another couple seconds the light was flicked back on...by Kinzo. The gun remained in the box, untouched. The light and sound had come from lightning striking the lightning rod of the house.

Kinzo's face contorted in anger for an instant, but then he showed a resigned expression. "It is to be expected from worthless maggots like you. I shall extend this one final chance. If any among you can kill me before midnight in such a way that no one can name you as the culprit and then subsequently present yourself to Genji with the ring and explain how you did it, then you shall still qualify for the entire inheritance. If a group of you are responsible for my death, the inheritance shall be split. If none of you realize this opportunity, my wealth will be spread over the world and you shall have nothing!" He paused to let that sink in, as he walked back to his brandy glass and picked it up again. He emptied it in a single swallow, and growled, "Now then, until you are here to kill me, GET OUT OF MY SIGHT! Genji, lock the door when they're out!" He had thrown his glass, shattering it against the far wall, then flung open the parlor door, and demanded that everyone leave. They filed out silently after this shocking display, though Eva hung to the rear, seemingly looking over the gun, and Rudolf looked like he wanted to stay for a word with Kinzo. In the face of their father's angry glare, though, they both retreated into the hall as well. Genji locked the door as they all looked at each other, confused and shaken.

Last edited at 17/10/03(Tue)02:06:00
>> No. 20618 edit



"Well, we always knew that Father was eccentric..." chuckled Rudolf, trying to use humor to make sense of the situation.

"Eccentric?! He's lost his mind!" replied Eva indignantly. "Shouldn't making assisted suicide an inheritance condition be legal proof of mental incompetence?"

"I'm not sure this qualifies," cut in Rosa. "I could see this being some trick. I wouldn't put it past Father, anyways..."

"Still, trick or not, it seems making an argument for incompetence is something we might have to consider," murmured Krauss.

"Dear!" said Natsuhi, shocked.

"It seems like his mind has truly left him," Krauss replied, annoyed. "We cannot pretend otherwise. As obviously none of us are going to commit murder and then confess to it in order to get the inheritance shortly before being thrown in prison, we need to step in before Father gives away our futures. Doctor Nanjo, would you be able to make such a declaration?"

Nanjo shook his head. "I am a medical doctor, and a general practitioner at that. You would need a certified psychologist."

"Tch," broke in Battler, as he popped a new piece of gum into his mouth. "I can't believe you're all here arguing about the effect his condition has on the inheritance. Shouldn't a family worry more about how to care for its sick old people than finding the best way to make sure they get a piece of his corpse? Disgusting!" As if to punctuate his declaration, there was another loud bang like before. It seemed lightning had struck the roof again. It was loud enough that everyone seemed to have been struck dumb. "Wow, that is some storm," said Battler after a couple seconds, chuckling nervously.

"Well, perhaps it's really just Father being in one of his moods, and he'll calm down in a while," said Hideyoshi, sighing but forcing a lighthearted tone. "How about we all go relax for a while and see if he calls us back. It's not like we adults have even had a chance to unpack, right Eva?"

Eva frowned, then sighed. "I suppose that's all we can do. A quick shower might be refreshing..."

With general murmurs of assent, the group broke up and spread throughout the mansion.
>> No. 20619 edit



The cousins had gone back together to Jessica's room, which she'd let them into after some hasty cleaning. They considered going back to the guest house, but it seemed like it would be best to stay in the mansion for the time being, until this business with Kinzo and their parents got sorted out.



Krauss unlocked the special room beside Kinzo's study with a key that only he had. The room held a single gold bar inside of it. Natsuhi was shocked. She'd always assumed the ten tons of gold that Kinzo was reputed to have gotten from discovering a sunken pirate ship off the coast of the island was a myth, yet here a bar was. The sight of the gold and a humble request for help were enough to swing Natsuhi to Krauss' side. Together, standing by that bar, husband and wife resolved that they would find a way to keep the inheritance flowing in its proper order. Tomorrow, they would call a psychologist and begin to take steps to declare Kinzo mentally incompetent. They exited the room and Krauss shut it, turning the key and shutting the gold away once more.



There was a flash of lightning and a boom of thunder.



Rudolf, Kyrie, and Nanjo were in Rudolf's and Kyrie's room. The pair had called the doctor in to ask about Kinzo's health. They wanted to know if there had been any significant changes lately, and they seemed to be hinting at the belief that someone was slowly poisoning him, perhaps with mercury. Nanjo admitted that the emotional destabilization would be consistent with that, but he had noted no other symptoms that could be expected. He assured them that he was doing all that he could for Kinzo and his declining health, and that he was making sure that any needed or potentially needed medicines were around him and ready to go at a moment's notice.



Eva emerged from the shower in her room and toweled off. Hideyoshi was sitting on the bed, calmly flipping through channels on the TV. Upon seeing his wife, he smiled and turned off the TV. She sat down beside him as she waited for her hair to dry some more, and they talked about what life would be like after the conference, when they could relax once more.



Battler came down to the kitchen, where Gohda, Genji, and Shannon were. Genji and Shannon had just arrived there, and Battler asked if the cousins could get some tea sent up to help keep them awake while they played cards. Shannon quickly obliged, and Battler stayed, making small talk with them while the tea brewed.
>> No. 20620 edit



Kinzo sat in his chair, brooding. However, perhaps brooding was the wrong word. Waiting would have been more correct.

Suddenly, he stiffened. The door to the parlor was locked, he was sure of it. So too were all the windows. Yet he knew he was no longer alone. Smiling, he closed his eyes and relaxed. "Will you walk into my parlor?" he questioned the air.

Standing there beside him, as if she'd always been there, stood a beautiful blond woman in an elegant gown, perusing the bookshelf. She replied to him in a disinterested fashion, "Oh, I'm sorry, were you talking to me? I had figured you'd forgotten about me entirely."

Kinzo laughed and stood from his chair, walking towards the center of the room. "Wahahaha! Oh Beatrice, I could never forget you! You who have been my lover and my nemesis for these hundreds of Octobers."

Beatrice, the Golden and Endless Witch, turned and pouted like a child. "You say that, but this time there's no epitaph. There's not even a portrait of me! You never spread the legend among the servants, either. I've been replaced by gremlins, of all things. Gremlins! Do you have any idea how humiliating that is?" She sighed and walked over beside him. It was then she saw the gun on the table. "So what's the game this time then, if there's no ritual, no roulette?"

"The game, my beloved Beatrice, is something more cutting edge, something that I foresee becoming very popular in a few decades."

"Oh, something new then, eh? What is it?"

"I call it the 'first-person shooter,'" he replied, reaching down, picking up the gun, and pointing it at Beatrice.

Her eyes widened and she stumbled away, backing towards the windows slightly. "Kinzo! ...Kinzo, what are you doing? I thought that you wanted me to revive so we could be together again?"

Kinzo smirked. "Yes, that was my goal. However, after all these games between us, all the times we have fed the goats, do you really have no idea how much I am mocked? 'Lord Coughsalot,' 'Kinzo no Naku koro Ni,' 'does he die before or after the hernia?' It's infuriating! I want to show those goats that I am not to be trifled with. The need to do so burns inside me. OH how I DESIRE..." He paused, coughed, then continued. "There is such a thing as a man's pride, Beatrice! So this time, I chose to change the rules. I knew you couldn't resist making an appearance, even on a gameboard that didn't need you. So I set out the honey, and waited for the little buzzing fly to come get stuck. Here and now, only minutes after it's begun, I am going to declare my own victory." He laughed once and cocked the gun. "Bullets are the ultimate in anti-magic technology, so I'm going to blast the red truth out from inside of you, denying your existence completely!" Lightning flashed and he pulled the trigger. The muzzle roared.

At the same instant, Beatrice split into two separate copies of herself, and the bullet sailed between her copies' stomachs, smashing a small hole in the window behind them. "The bullet could kill me," said the copies in stereo, "but while I can't affect it, there's nothing saying I can't affect myself with magic. You'll never be able to hit us." They cackled in unison, creating a uniquely annoying and unpleasant effect.

Kinzo snarled. "Is that so? Well it's not the only trick that I, Lord Goldsmith, have up my sleeve. I've learned many things over the many repeated nights." He glared at them and held up his left hand like he was holding an invisible ball. "OhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHH!" he began to scream, as his cloak began to flap in an unfelt wind. After a moment, flickers of flame began to flash at his fingertips. They grew larger and began to coalesce in his palm as he continued to shout.

"Kinzo...?" began one copy of Beatrice. "...Are you really sure you want to play with fire?" finished the other one.

Yet still he screamed and concentrated, the veins on his forehead and neck pulsing in a crazy fashion. Finally a ball of magical fire hovered in the air above his palm, and he began to laugh. "This shall be your doom, witch! Waaaaahahahahaha! AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHA-" Suddenly his laugh cut off, the fireball disappeared, and he fell over onto his back, the froth of spit still trickling from his mouth.

Beatrice recombined and tentatively walked over to his prone form. "Um...Kinzo? Are you alright?" She nudged him with her foot, but he didn't react. On seeing that, Beatrice looked around nervously, quickly bent down and took the Head Ring, then slowly walked back to the window, whistling nervously. Turning into butterflies, she flew out the hole the gun had made in the window.
>> No. 20621 edit



"I'm telling you Genji, that didn't sound like thunder to me," said Battler to the servant. They had passed the parlor on the way to the stairs, the servants carrying the tea that had been made. "I think we should check on Kinzo. He's off his rocker, and he's in there alone with a gun. Shannon, you agree with me at least, right?"

"Oh...I don't know...the Master did leave very strict instructions, it sounds like..." she said, hesitantly.

Battler sighed in exasperation and turned back to Genji. "Look, I'll take all the blame for it."

Genji remained unmoved.

"You could pour him some of this tea we made. It wouldn't disrupt the spirit of Kinzo's mad test then, since you have to be the judge anyway, right?"

Genji remained unmoved.

"...Your Master broke a glass in that room and you haven't picked it up yet."

A small muscle under Genji's right eye twitched, and he let out a small sigh. "Very well. You may knock, but if he doesn't allow you in, we proceed."

"Hey, if I get a response that's all I care about. I don't want this tea getting cold on a night like this," replied Battler. Walking up to the parlor door, he pounded his fist against it. "Hey, Grandfather, are you alright in there? Can we get you anything?" The only reply was silence, which was made more ominous by the sound of the storm outside. Battler looked at Genji. "Well, he didn't say no...?"

Genji frowned. "Forgive me, but could you hold this tray so that I may unlock the door?" Having handed the tea tray to Battler, Genji fished into his side pocket and pulled out a master key. After knocking once more and calling out for Kinzo, Genji unlocked the door and stepped inside.

The gaping maw of Kinzo greeted them. His eyes were shut and his face seemed contorted into a mask of either pain, terror, or laughter. He lay on his back near the middle of the room, next to the table that the gun had rested on. Now, the gun lay on the floor, the trigger gripped by his limp right hand. Battler thought he could still smell gunpowder.

Shannon let out a scream in shock, dropping her tea tray, and Genji turned to her. "Shannon, go find Doctor Nanjo. Quickly." Yet she stood there, frozen in terror. It took Genji grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her to bring her out of her daze. "Nanjo. Now," he said sternly, and she nodded and ran off into the mansion.

Genji turned around as Battler slowly, shaking, knelt by Kinzo, his hands reaching out tentatively towards the body. As Genji came over to watch, Battler gingerly placed a couple fingers on Kinzo's neck, trying a few different spots. Around Kinzo's mouth were flecks of white foam that had dried. Perhaps he really had been laughing in some maniacal fashion?
Battler looked up at the servant, his own face set in a frown. "I'm not feeling a pulse. I think..." but he stopped there, seemingly unable to actually say the words that Kinzo was dead.
>> No. 20622 edit



In her quest to find Doctor Nanjo, Shannon had come across many of the family members, and they'd all hurried to the parlor. When she'd finally found Nanjo, in the servants' quarters of all places, she hurried him back to the parlor. Everyone that had come were staring at the body or consoling each other, yet there was an air of tension in the room. As Nanjo entered, all eyes turned to him. Upon seeing the body of his friend, Nanjo frowned and looked at the members of Kinzo's family suspiciously. Then he knelt by the body and began going over it, placing his fingers on Kinzo's wrist and neck and listening to his chest briefly. Standing back up, he accidentally bumped the tea platter that had been left by Kinzo's body. The clatter of the ceramic seemed almost to serve as an announcement of the doctor's verdict.

"Kinzo Ushiromiya is dead. It would seem that someone has murdered him."

Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, almost as if the skies themselves were marking the death of this great man. The room was then filled with silence for an instant. In the next instant, everyone began talking.

"Shannon, go call the police," stated Genji, calmly, and Shannon immediately left to do so.

"How did he die?" asked Rudolf.

Nanjo shook his head, but Battler spoke up. "We thought we heard a gunshot, Genji, Shannon, and me, and when we came in I thought I smelled gunpowder."

"Idiot!" shouted Jessica, who'd been fighting to keep her cool. "Don't you think it would have been pretty obvious if he'd been shot? There'd be a huge hole in him!"

Battler winced from the sting of her reaction. George had wandered over to one of the windows. Turning back to the group, he said, "I agree with Jessica. I think Grandfather was shooting at something. There's a hole in this window over here, and no glass beneath it on the floor. I'm not seeing any bullet damage offhand in the room either. I think this is where the bullet exited."

"I wonder what he was shooting at..." asked Kyrie to the air, and they all stopped to consider for a moment.

Krauss, coming back to his senses, turned to Nanjo. "Well as it obviously wasn't a bullet, how did he die?"

"I don't know, unfortunately. I am not a forensic pathologist," said Nanjo in reply.

Hideyoshi had knelt down and sniffed at the air above Kinzo's open mouth. "...there's something there..." he muttered. "...Almonds?"

"That sounds familiar," said Battler. "Something from my mystery novels..." He suddenly gasped. "Cyanide! Maybe he was poisoned!"

Everyone looked towards where Kinzo had sat, and where Natsuhi had just swallowed down a few of the roasted nuts from the bowl that had been brought. She looked back at them, then at the bowl she was holding, then to Kinzo's corpse, then back to the bowl, and screamed. The bowl fell and leftover nuts scattered everywhere as Natsuhi continued to scream in sheer terror. Coming over from the window, George helped Krauss guide Natsuhi towards a chair.
"It's alright, Aunt Natsuhi," George said soothingly. "We don't know they were poisoned. Please, Aunt Natsuhi, calm down. It's alright. Please. Just. Aunt Natsuhi, listen. Please just..." Suddenly, George slapped his aunt across the face. She, as well as everyone else in the room, looked at him, shocked. "Well," he said, nervously adjusting his glasses, "I had to stop her screaming..." He sheepishly stepped away while Krauss sat down next to his shaking wife who was absentmindedly rubbing her cheek.

"We don't have any way to test the nuts, so I guess we'll just wait to see if Natsuhi dies too, then, hmm?" said Eva, making Natsuhi's eyes try to go as wide as saucers and everyone glared at Eva. "Ah, sorry, sorry. Too soon?"

"Another reason he could smell like almonds," cut in Rudolf, "was because the bunch of nuts he was eating was almonds. He always had roasted almonds after every meal for as long as I've known him. I'm surprised his body doesn't reek of them."

Genji bowed his head. "If you'll excuse my impertinence, per the Master's instructions I believe we should all investigate this, as it has direct bearing on the succession. If you'll permit me, I shall see if there are any immediately relevant clues on his person." With that, Genji crouched down beside the man he had served and began rifling his pockets, using a handkerchief over his hand.

Inside them he found a key to Kinzo's study, a gold-colored pen with what looked like small red scorpion designs on covering it, and five bullets of the proper caliber for the rifle. He took the key to the study and put it in his pocket.

"Hey, hey," said Battler. "Are you sure we should be doing that? What about when the police investigate? Wouldn't this be messing with the crime scene?"

At that moment, Shannon came running in, followed by Rosa. "The phone to the mainland isn't working, and neither is the radio!"

Genji continued his examinations as Rosa gasped. Nanjo took her aside and quickly caught her up to speed. "As that is the case," Genji said after a moment, "I feel it would be in our best interests to locate the one who has killed him, given that they are still on the island with us. As for taking the key, this way we can have a place that is decidedly secure. I now have both keys for that room." As Genji spoke he examined the gun. "One cartridge fired and still in the chamber. Four cartridges unfired. In short, the fully loaded rifle was fired once."

Having gotten the information from Nanjo, Rosa frowned and looked down at Kinzo. "I don't mean to sound crazy, but isn't it possible that he simply died? He was old, after all."

Everyone looked around at each other, some with mouths agape, others looking very sheepish.

"...U-um, well...as his attending physician, I can say that...um...he had no immediately apparent health problems that would lead to immediate death...?" stated Nanjo, looking like he was trying to save face at having declared Kinzo's death a murder rather than going with what was probably the much more natural option.

"No, this was likely murder with the intent of claiming the inheritance," said Genji, calmly.

"Oh? Why is that?" asked Kyrie.

"In addition to the items he has with him, there is one item decidedly missing." He lifted up Kinzo's hand, and everyone realized what he meant.

"Th-the ring!" gasped Eva.

"Correct. It seems someone has taken it and will be attempting to claim the inheritance."

"Well whoever has it is the killer then, right? Everyone empty your pockets and we'll search each other!" said Battler with a look of determination.

"Tch. Like the killer would be stupid enough to keep it on them," said Eva.

"Let's move this out to the hall," suggested Nanjo, nervously eying the corpse.

"Why?" prodded Rudolf. "Here should be fine."

"Well...If the killer gets cornered, I'd rather not have a firearm nearby..." Nanjo replied, and Rudolf shrugged in acquiescence.

Together everyone moved out into the hall. As he shut the door behind them, Genji locked it with his master key. "So that none of us can get to the gun," he explained. "Shall we commence the search?"

With that, everyone gathered there turned out their pockets and cries of surprise erupted.

"W-what is this?" asked Hideyoshi. In his hand he held a small plastic coin of some kind with an odd pattern embossed on it. He'd pulled it out of his pocket, and the pocket watch he'd expected to be there was nowhere to be seen.

Similar substitutions were discovered among everyone else. Krauss had a small notebook he always carried with him replaced with a tiny journal covered with what seemed to be Hebrew writing. Natsuhi had a spare hair ribbon traded out for a thin piece of gold lace. One of Jessica's brass knuckles had been switched out for a smooth stone with a design etched on it. Eva's trademark fan was now a thin box filled with sticks of incense. George, with a devastated expression, withdrew his hand to reveal what was either a very small crystal ball or a very large marble, but he wouldn't say what it replaced. A lucky poker chip Rudolf always carried was replaced by a miniature compact mirror. A book that Kyrie had been carrying in her jacket was now a small almanac. A small eraser in the shape of a phoenix that Battler had received as a gift from Ange emerged from his pocket as a small eraser in the shape of a spider. Finally, a button that had fallen from Rosa's dress had been switched out for a small ceramic rabbit. Seeing this, Rosa sighed.

"Maria's been practicing her 'magic' again. I'm certain Kumasawa is teaching her. This would be why she wouldn't stay seated at dinner, I'd bet. That's when she did it to all of us," she explained.

"That's quite the little pickpocket you've raised," said Eva, sardonically.

"Heh. I remember when she tried to teach me all that stuff. I didn't have the knack. I guess Maria's better than I was," said Battler.

"Well at least we know the culprit of this particular crime, and she couldn't have taken the ring from the murderer since she's been in the guest house with Kumasawa this entire time," said George, quickly. "Are you three missing anything?" he asked of Genji, Shannon, and Nanjo. They all answered in the negative. "Interesting..." muttered George.

"In the meantime, I suppose it's time for the actual search," said Jessica. "If we're doing pat-downs, I vote that Shannon does mine. Don't even think about it, Battler!"

Battler, whose hands had started to come up in a lecherous gesture, frowned. "Dammit..."
>> No. 20623 edit



Aside from the tea equipment, which might still be needed, the kitchen was spotless, and Gohda was happy. He didn't have the night shift tonight, so once he finished his final check of the kitchen, he'd be free to go to bed. He was going through the cabinets and making sure all the ingredients were in their proper places, when he was startled by a feminine laugh.

"You know, no matter how many times I say I'm going to keep you as my personal chef in the Golden Land, I don't think I ever could."

Gohda turned around. There was a young and beautiful blond woman standing there that he did not know, dressed in an elegant western-style dress. "Who? What?"

"It's because you're too tidy. You don't leave any kind of wiggle room for magic to exist."

"A-are you some kind of...witch?!" asked Gohda, incredulously.

"Wow! That's a bingo! Got it in one. I have to say I'm impressed. You must have some serious spiritual sensitivity. Maybe that's why you're the Magical Gohda Chef. Still, you aren't nearly powerful enough to stop me, so I guess this is goodbye for now. Although the epitaph isn't there, I'm a sucker for tradition, so you'll be the second of six."

Somehow sensing the threat in those words, Gohda blindly reached behind him and grabbed the first somewhat heavy thing he could find to defend himself with. Unfortunately what he'd reached into was a cabinet, so what he came back with was just a mostly-full bottle of oil.

Beatrice looked at it, and laughed. "Oil, really? What are you going to do, make it so that my dry cleaning bill kills me with sticker shock? Sorry, but that wouldn't be enough to stop a human. It doesn't have a chance against a witch's furniture. Lucifer of Pride, forgive the sin!"

As Gohda watched, another woman appeared beside the first. "I don't mean to question my orders. However, aren't Beelz and Gohda considered more of the canon ship? Won't the fanfic writers cry foul?" asked Lucifer.

Beatrice shouted at her. "Hey! You are my furniture! You shouldn't steal your Master's humor spotlight without permission! Just get with the forgiving!"

"Of course! Forgive my impertinence!" With a laugh that could have been directed at either Beatrice or Gohda, Lucifer vanished from sight. There was the sound of metal clanging off all of the surfaces, and she reappeared behind Gohda. "I'll give Beelz your regards." With that, she plunged her energy blade into Gohda's back. He let out a cry of anguish and tried feebly to hit her with the bottle of oil.

"Excellent! Now then, I just have to lock...the... Why are there no doors? Who decided to make this an open kitchen? ...Damn it, Kinzo..."
>> No. 20624 edit



Within the parlor, the corpse of Kinzo began to glow with a white-hot light and it rose from the floor. Slowly, it turned to a vertical position, and then Kinzo's eyes opened.

"Waaahahahaha! You thought the great Kinzo Ushiromiya was a simple one-trick pony, Beatrice?! Let us see how you handle it when you're actively being hunted right from the start! I never said that I would be the only player in this deathmatch!"

Floating to a bookshelf, he withdrew one of the books and opened it to a certain page which was inscribed with magical symbols. "ERGO SUM MORTUUS EST!" He shouted this strange incantation, and with a final laugh, replaced the book and floated through both the bookcase and the wall behind it.
>> No. 20625 edit



"What do you want me to do with these leftovers?" asked Lucifer, holding up Gohda on her blade as he continued to twitch.

"Well, it seems I won't be able to make this one a closed room. I hate when I can't do that," fumed Beatrice. Then an idea seemed to strike her. "Leftovers? Oh yes, that'll work. Thank you Lucifer, that's a decent place to put him. Though I think you get to stay with him, as punishment for earlier." With a cackle, she waved her pipe, and seven-colored smoke swirled around the pair.

"Wait, wait, please forgive me, or-" began Lucifer, and then, muffled and in another part of the room, she finished, "-at least give me some pants?!"

Cackling some more, Beatrice disappeared in a swirl of gold butterflies.
>> No. 20626 edit



"Well, either none of us have the ring or the one who has it is already suffering," said Rudolf, chuckling before Kyrie gave him a light smack on the arm. They had all been searched up to the point of being invasive, but no one could claim to have found a ring on anyone.

"Perhaps it really was some kind of natural death, and with Father being who he was, maybe he hid the ring before he died. I wouldn't put it past Father," said Rosa, shrugging. "Maybe we need to go look around there again?"

"No, I think Genji and I did a fairly thorough inspection of the areas he could have put it if he were in the middle of some kind of fit or having a heart attack," countered Nanjo.

"Besides, we aren't everyone on this island, are we?" asked Battler rhetorically as he handed Krauss back his jacket. "Maybe it was Kanon or Kumasawa." He pointedly ignored the glare he got from Jessica at the suggestion that Kanon could have something to do with Kinzo's death.

"But they're both over at the guest house with Maria right now," stated Shannon.

"Are we sure of that?" asked Battler.

Shannon looked away nervously, but Genji spoke up. "I witnessed Kanon leaving around 8:50. I made sure he locked the mansion door as he left. Whether he or any of them came back since, I cannot guarantee to be false."

"Alright," continued Battler. "We'll go talk to them later if need be. Is there anyone else in this mansion? I feel like I'm forgetting someone..."

Everyone paused for a moment, considering. Hideyoshi even began silently ticking off people on his fingers.

"Oh, there is Gohda..." said Shannon, thoughtfully.

For a split second the group looked at each other in astonishment. "Gohda!" they shouted at each other and then made a mad dash towards the kitchen. When they reached the entryway they couldn't immediately see Gohda, so Shannon led a group consisting of Rudolf, George, Eva, and Rosa towards the servants' quarters while the others stayed to search the kitchen.

Still, the kitchen was fairly clean, and there weren't too many places where one could reasonably hide. Jessica even thought to check the ovens, but nothing was there.
Finally, Battler shrugged. "Well, he certainly isn't here, wherever he is. Does anyone want someeeaaaAAAAGH! Oofmrphpmhrm!" As he had opened the door on the commercial-grade refrigerator, a human form had seemed to lunge at him. He'd recoiled, fell on his butt, and Gohda landed completely on top of him, his lips pressed on Battler's. Gohda's huge frame managed to smother Battler, despite Battler's own impressive size, so he couldn't get free immediately. As the others in the kitchen stared in shock, Battler writhed under the literal dead weight of the chef. Shaking his head to the side, he got his mouth free. "Wraaaaah! Aaaaaaah! Ahhhhhh...ahhh...." he yelled as reality gradually broke through his fear. "...Little help, please?"

Genji and Hideyoshi worked together to lift Gohda off of Battler enough so he could pull himself free, which also freed a bottle of oil that had been trapped between them. Battler stood up, brushing himself off, as everyone looked at Gohda. Buried deep in his back was a long stake-like object. Nanjo rushed up to Gohda and shook him. "Gohda, Gohda!" he shouted, looking at the wound and checking Gohda's pulse. Stunned, he looked up at Genji and shook his head.

Genji frowned, then looked at the group. "Someone please go get the other group. They might be in danger."

"I'll, uh, I'll do that," said Battler, clearly shaken and wiping his lips with his sleeve. "That was, uh...yeah..." He left the room in a hurry.

Natsuhi held her head. "I think I'm going to be sick." Nanjo absentmindedly reached into his pocket while he continued to look at Gohda and pulled out an already opened pack of antacid effervescing tablets. He offered her one, but she turned down.

As those left contemplated the body, Krauss asked the obvious question. "Who would kill Gohda? Why?"

"Yeah, and it's just rude to kill a chef with a stake," said Jessica, dryly. Noticing everyone staring at her, she forced her face into a half-smile. "Stake? Steak? Get it?"

Natsuhi snapped at her. "Jessica, now is not the time for jokes! We have a serial murderer on the loose!"

Jessica shouted back, startling her mother. "You think I don't know that?! I'm laughing at this so I don't cry. I need to be ready to kill or I'll be killed. I've been ready to kill since this began."

"Oh?" asked Kyrie, crossing her arms and eyeballing Jessica suspiciously. Hideyoshi, Genji, and Nanjo picked up on her meaning and began to look askance at her.

"H-hey, I didn't mean it like that!" protested Jessica. At that moment those who had gone to the servants' quarters returned, with Battler following behind, still looking a little shaken. They entered the room, and Shannon gave a little scream and began to weep. Genji put a hand on her shoulder and people watched as Nanjo tried to give the best examination possible given the circumstances.
>> No. 20627 edit



Within Kinzo's locked study, he was sitting at his desk and smirking. A closed-circuit television had popped out of his desk and he was watching events unfold all over the mansion, the grounds, and the guest house. With a laugh, he stood and hit the concealed button that would make the TV retract. "Oh Beatrice, it is so fun to see you running around like a scared little bunnygirl," he said has he started stripping out of his clothes and walking towards the study's personal bathroom. "I'm going to enjoy watching you sweat over the next two nights." He tossed his clothes into an untidy heap by the fireplace and walked into the bathroom, turning on the shower. As he waited for the water to steam, Kinzo turned around...and came face to face with Beatrice.

"Ah!" shouted Kinzo, in fright.

"Ah!" shouted Beatrice, in disgust. "You know, you were much better looking in the old days. A word of advice? Lay off the absinthe and do more walking in the forest."

"How did you penetrate the wards on this study, Beatrice? It's impossible!"

"Impossible? Impossible?! Nothing is impossible to a witch, Kinzo! You should know that!" She smiled a wicked smile. "Besides, apparently this gameboard is one for breaking rules even more than it is for breaking the fourth wall. Don't worry though," she said in a mocking tone. "I'm here to give you a thank-you gift for making this contest interesting."

"A gift?"

"Mmm. One that only I, the Golden Witch, could give. One final deposit." She tossed her pipe in the air. As it twirled, golden butterflies gathered around it and cocooned it in a growing, glowing, golden aura. Kinzo watched it, fascinated, as it spun and then seemed to glide down into Beato's waiting hands. At that, the cocoon burst into millions of tiny golden shards, and in her hands she now held the handle to a comically large golden mallet. As Kinzo's eyes went wide, Beatrice shouted, "Goldeeeennnn Hammmmeeeeerrr STRIKE!" and brought down the mallet on Kinzo's forehead. With a sound that the comedian Gallagher would have been proud of, Kinzo's head burst open like an overripe watermelon, splattering its insides everywhere, as his body fell back into the tub. Beatrice laughed maniacally for a bit before stopping, panting and supporting herself on the handle of the hammer. Then, as she caught her breath, she looked down at the body of Kinzo, then around at the bits of gray matter that had been thrown everywhere, including her dress. "Hmm...maybe that was a bit much..."

Standing up straight, she tugged on the handle of the hammer and as she lifted it up it the layers of gold on it fell away into the shape of a bar, leaving behind her normal pipe. Picking up the bar, she looked around helplessly, then stuck it someplace out of the way. Turning back to Kinzo, she began to chant, "Come, try and remember, what form did you have? It was surely quite a...um...venerable? Sure. Venerable form." Kinzo's skull began to reform itself, the brains piling back inside and the bone knitting itself together. When there was only a large dent in his skull with some blood leaking out, likely the moment the mallet had first connected, she stopped the incantation. Kinzo lay there with his back inside the tub and his head and lower legs out of it on either side. "Ew," she said once more, looking over his body, then sighed. "That should teach you for throwing in new rules, you old bastard. See you on the next gameboard. I have this one to win first."

As she walked out of the bathroom, she spied the pile of clothes that Kinzo had discarded. Curiosity got the better of her, and she lifted the jacket. As it approached her nose, she gagged in disgust. "Ugh, Kinzo! Didn't you ever wear anything different for the past two years?" With a wave, the offending garments vanished, and an instant later, she did as well.
>> No. 20628 edit



"He definitely died from this wound in the back," said Nanjo. Genji had removed the stake with a handkerchief at the beginning of Nanjo's improvised autopsy, and it had been cold then, obviously from its time in the fridge. "No signs of defensive wounds, I don't think," continued the doctor. "I'm guessing he was either surprised from behind or he trusted his attacker."

Eva looked at Rosa. "Think this was a natural death too?" she asked, sardonically. Rosa stuck her tongue out in reply.

Krauss, Natsuhi, Jessica, and George were gathered around the stake, which had been laid on the counter. "This looks familiar," muttered Natsuhi, "but I just can't place it."

"It looks like something Grandfather would have collected," supplied George, trying to be helpful.

"I agree," said Krauss, "and I also think it looks familiar. Where have we seen it?"

Kyrie was talking with Rudolf and Shannon in a corner of the kitchen. "What did you all find in the servants' quarters? Anything interesting?"

"Nah," replied Rudolf. "It was a little unkempt, but there wasn't anyone hiding there."

"Unkempt?" asked Kyrie, looking at Shannon and noticing that she seemed troubled. "That doesn't sound like you."

"It...it wasn't. It was clean before I left it to help Gohda in the kitchen this evening. I think someone may have rifled it, but I don't know what they would have been looking for."
"What was disturbed?" pressed Kyrie.

"We have a small closet with basic maintenance and cleaning supplies in it. The box holding extra large black trash bags, the ones we use for yard work and the like, had been opened and left on the floor. The area with pest control supplies like bug spray and flypaper also looked disturbed."

"Interesting," said Kyrie, but when Rudolf questioned her she waved him off.

After he finished his own examination of Gohda, Genji rose and addressed everyone in the kitchen. "Gohda was only carrying a master key, a crossword puzzle booklet, and a pen. I have taken the master key for safekeeping." With that, he approached the counter where the stake was.

"Ooooohhhhaaaahh!" shouted Krauss. "Having you standing here reminded me where I'd seen this freaky object before!"

Natsuhi's eyes widened as well. "Father's study! This is one of those weird paperweights he has!"

"But I thought that you had both keys to that, Genji? How could it come from there?" asked Battler from his position far away from the corpse.

Genji reached into his pocket and produced the two study keys, without saying anything. Hideyoshi looked at them both and nodded satisfactorily. "They do seem to be the same. If they're the only two there are, then there's no way any kind of murderer could have gotten into the study."

"Still, we might want to check..." said Nanjo, looking at Genji.

"If our plan is to hide there from a murderer, it would be good to be sure it's actually safe," Genji agreed. "Please, everyone follow me and make sure no one gets separated, or that person might be in danger."

Or the murderer, everyone thought at once.
>> No. 20629 edit



As they followed Genji to the hall on the way to the stairs that would eventually lead to Kinzo's study, they were startled when there was a rattling from the front door of the mansion. Before anyone could think to react, the door flung wide, and there was a form there backlit by a flash of lightning.

It was Kanon, standing there dripping wet and seemingly in a panic.

"I saw someone out there! No, perhaps it was more than one! But I know I've never seen them before. I think we're in danger!"

Reacting first, Genji walked to Kanon. "You are right, Kanon. Two lives have already been claimed here tonight."

Kanon's eyes grew wider. "T-two? B-but...!"

"Come, I will help you get dry and explain. Battler, here is one of the study keys," he said, handing the key to Battler, who was closest to him at the time. "You all go on to the study."

"I want to come with you," said Jessica.

"Milady, please go with the group. There is safety in numbers, and it is much more important that you remain safe than ourselves. We are just furniture."

Jessica seemed about to argue, but Krauss put a firm hand on her shoulder. Biting her lip in frustration, she turned, and everyone except for Genji and Kanon headed up to the study.
>> No. 20630 edit



Battler was about to unlock the study door, but Krauss held out his hand. "Please. I believe I am the head of the Ushiromiya family now. This belongs with me." It seemed like Krauss was trying to regain control of himself by gaining control of the situation.

"Sure, I guess, if you feel it's that important," said Battler, scratching his head and handing over the key, then patting Krauss on the arm in a reassuring gesture.

Krauss unlocked the door and everyone went inside. At first glance, the study appeared empty. Papers and books lay stacked in haphazard piles, and a fire was burning in the hearth. Hideyoshi let out an 'ah ha' and reached out to one of the piles of papers. Resting on it was a stake almost exactly like the one that had been embedded in Gohda. Eva pointed out another one sitting on a shelf a few feet away, and another on top of the liquor cabinet.

Turning to Shannon, Rudolf asked, "How many of these did Father have?"

Shannon nervously looked away. "W-well...I don't know..."

"You don't know?!" asked Battler, incredulously.

Startled by the outburst, Shannon shrank back a bit. "I mean...I always took them to be cheap paperweights, more for decoration than anything... I never bothered to count them..."
Looking around, the group did have to admit that several did seem to be scattered around the room. Six, in fact, that they could see from where they were.

Hideyoshi sighed. "I guess this lead is a dead end, then."

"Yeah, but we found treasure at the end of it," whistled Battler, picking up what seemed to be an old Spanish doubloon from on top of one of the piles of books.

"Yes, Father was in love with sunken treasure. That's why he came up with the story of finding his fortune in a sunken wreck," said Krauss, saying what he always said whenever he brought up Kinzo's love of treasure.

"Does anyone hear water running? Like a shower?" asked Natsuhi. Everyone quieted and listened. It had been mostly buried by the sound of rain hitting the window, but there was indeed the sound of a shower running. Natsuhi, wandering further into the room, opened a side door, fell to her knees, and let out a scream. "Aaaaaah! Father's dead!"

"Um...yes Aunt Natsuhi, we know..." said George.

"No! I mean he's dead here! Again!" she shouted, pointing into the bathroom. Everyone ran over and looked inside. There were more shouts of shock, followed soon after by exclamations of embarrassment and disgust. The shower water ran cold, and did nothing to make his old and naked body look any better.

Nanjo pushed his way past and fell to his knees beside Kinzo. This time, as he examined him, he was shaking. There was a large dent in Kinzo's skull, and blood and brain matter oozed from it. It only took the doctor a moment to give his verdict. "There's nothing to be done. He skull was crushed from something heavy and blunt."

"Well of course there's nothing to do," said Eva. "He was already dead! But why is he here now and why did someone break his skull?"

"And where are his clothes?!" said Jessica, half-hiding her eyes. "That is way more of Grandfather than I ever wanted to see!"

Rosa opened her eyes wide and gasped. "Maybe Kinzo killed Gohda!"

"Hoh? And how would he have gone about that?" asked Krauss, to which Rosa had no reply.

At that moment Genji showed up in the study. Aside from his eyes widening slightly at seeing his Master dead for the second time in less than two hours, he took to his role calmly. He turned off the shower and looked over his Master's body. As he did so, he asked, "Were any papers discovered on the Master's desk?"

"No, none," replied George.

"His desk seems to be the single clear place in this room," snarked Jessica. Then, after a bit, she asked suspiciously, "Why?"

"The Master had some papers there detailing what was to happen in case he was murdered."
"You mean the legal documents he mentioned?" asked Battler.

Genji shook his head. "No. Other details on how the night was to progress. The Master had it all planned out."

"Father had plans for the conference that anticipated him lying naked in a tub with his head bashed in?" snapped Eva.

"I wouldn't put it past Father," said Rosa.

"Do you ever get tired of saying that?" asked Eva.

"No," Rosa replied.

Before Genji could give a proper answer to Eva's question, Battler called everyone over to the fireplace. "There's papers in here!" He grabbed a poker and tried to pick out what he could. It was mostly destroyed, but there was one piece that still had a bit of legible writing on it. Battler passed it around. The two things that could be read were 'Nanjo' and, further down the page, 'Kanon.' "What was on this page, Genji?"

Genji let out a breath, then stated, "Instructions to various members of the household on what to do after his death. Truthfully, I had not been given a chance to read them. I only knew what generally was on them."

Rudolf snorted. "Sounds like a conspiracy to me."

Jessica shook her head. "I won't believe that Kanon would be a part in any conspiracy that involved the death of Grandfather." She looked around. "Speaking of, where is he?"

The others looked, until Genji said, "At his request, he is staying locked up in the servants' quarters. It seems that he took the death of the Master and Gohda quite hard, and is unwilling to risk leaving a place of safety."

"Not even to come with us?" she asked, incredulously.

"He believes that one of us is the killer. If we need in the room, he and I have arranged a signal that he should let me in."

"But we have the master keys. How would he stop us, anyway?" asked Shannon.

"I have promised that we will not use the master keys. He said if he heard the door start to be unlocked without the signal being given, he would shout for help and stab anyone who tried to come in. I will teach you the signal later, Shannon."

"That coward..." muttered Battler, looking around the rest of the study. "I think there's six stakes in here. Genji, do you know how many Grandfather had?"

Genji replied instantly. "Seven, one for each of the deadly sins, though I never learned to tell them apart."

Battler sighed. "Well that settles that." He walked to the window and looked at the lock. George joined him. "Locked."

Shannon gasped. "And the study door was locked when we got here!"

"What are you saying, Shannon?" asked Jessica. "That this was an impossible murder?"

"Well...um...yes, I think so. I think this was a closed room murder!"

Lightning flashed and thunder roared as everyone digested that information.

"It...really is, isn't it?" asked Hideyoshi rhetorically. "His first death, that could have been poison, which means it didn't really matter if everything was locked tight. Here, though, the door and window are locked, and his head was bashed in. It's impossible!"

Genji spoke up. "There is an auto-lock on the study door, so any time it closes it locks, so it would be possible to escape the room. However, as I had both keys since the first time the Master died, I do not see how it would be possible to enter the room through the door."

"Well, one thing is clear," said Kyrie, looking at Nanjo critically. "He must not have been dead before. Otherwise why kill him again?"

Nanjo shook. "I...must have made a mistake. I am sorry."

"Or maybe he really was dead, and the killer is doing this to create confusion!" said George.

"It's working," muttered Hideyoshi.

"Why does it matter? Father is dead!" shouted Natsuhi, exasperatedly.

"It matters to us!" Battler replied, shouting back as he walked towards the doorway of the bathroom and stopped just within it, staring at Kinzo's corpse. "I want to know who's guilty of murdering Grandfather. So we need to find out who killed him, and where, and with what!" he concluded loudly, bashing his hand against the door frame in anger. "And I-"

At that moment he collapsed like a marionette that had its strings cut. A gold bar, one side of which had bloodstains on it, had fallen from its precarious placement on a knick-knack shelf above the door, and had clobbered Battler on the head, knocking him senseless.
>> No. 20631 edit



As Battler recovered while being tended to by Shannon and after the shock of seeing an actual gold bar faded, the others discussed what was to be done.

"How do we know there isn't some 19th person running around the mansion?" asked Hideyoshi. "The only way to know is to do a thorough search!"

"But as we search, they could just slip away to the parts we aren't looking at," countered Rudolf.

"Then we'll have to spread out and search everywhere at once," concluded Kyrie. Everyone looked at her with fear. "When the enemy goes to ground, leave no ground to go to," she said, shrugging. "We should split up into small groups and cover as much ground as possible. I would suggest random groups, to minimize the chance that a pair of us, working together, start killing the others. We'll decide by janken."

Everyone agreed, and in a minute they'd settled on groups. Krauss and Kyrie would stay in the study as well as investigate the nearby rooms. Jessica's room and the remaining guest rooms on the second floor would be left to Jessica and Genji. Natsuhi and Eva would handle the hall, the first floor restrooms, and the area around the parlor. Battler, Hideyoshi, and Nanjo would be in charge of the area around the kitchen, the servants' quarters, and the guest rooms. George and Rosa, together with Rudolf and Shannon, would work together to clear out the boiler room, as it was considered especially dangerous. As they would be needing the boiler room key from the servants' quarters, Genji pulled Shannon aside, definitely out of earshot from all the others, and explained the signal to her.

As the location of all the master keys was believed to be known, it was decided that Genji would keep hold of the master keys they had found, and Shannon would keep hers. After all, if the murderer were one of the group, handing out master keys would simply enable the murderer. If a door was locked, it was assumed to be safe, as a key was required to lock or unlock every door in the mansion aside from Kinzo's study, which could be locked without a key due to the auto lock.

With the marching orders figured, the groups split up to search the Ushiromiya mansion.

Last edited at 17/10/03(Tue)02:21:19
>> No. 20632 edit



Krauss let Kyrie into the room where once a gold bar had rested. As he suspected, the gold bar was gone. When he explained that this was the room it had come from, the door of which couldn't even be opened by a master key but only by the key he possessed, Kyrie nodded. While his back was turned, her look turned to one of suspicion.


Jessica and Genji first proceeded to Jessica's room. She opened it with her room key, and the pair did a quick but thorough search. Jessica looked forlornly at the maps of Rokkenjima she had collected. The cousins had decided prior to arriving that they would take the time this year to explore the island. A "wolf hunt" they'd called it. George and Battler had even brought along spelunking equipment in case they discovered any caves or tunnels, as well as some good rope so they could explore the cliffs that the map said were there. Now instead of hunting wolves in the wild, one had gotten in.


After Shannon had given the secret signal while the others had waited out of range of discovering what it was, the door was opened and Shannon received the key to the boiler room before the door slammed shut again. As the boiler room group descended, Battler, Nanjo, and Hideyoshi began their search. They had barely been on it a minute, however, before the sounds of a struggle erupting and two women screaming reached their ears. The trio ran back to the hall where they found Natsuhi and Eva rolling around, striking and clawing at each other. Hideyoshi tried to pull his wife away while Nanjo worked on pulling Natsuhi away.

"She was going to kill me! I know it!" said Natsuhi, angrily.

"Oh shove it, you insane borrowed womb!" snapped back Eva. "You're the one who's itching for me to turn my back so you can choke the life out of me!"

"I wasn't the one who was sneaking up behind me while I was investigating the restroom! I saw you in the mirror! I saw that look in your eyes!"

"You paranoid...ugh!" shouted Eva, for once running out of insults.

"Please ladies, please," said Nanjo. "We're looking for the enemy without, not within. Now let me examine you both.... Hmm. Yes, you both could use a little bit of medical attention, just to be on the safe side. Hideyoshi, there's some first aid equipment in the cabinet in there. Grab it please."

Nanjo began to disinfect some of their scratches while Eva and Natsuhi glared daggers at each other.


After the boiler room door had been unlocked, the group had headed down, with the order being Rudolf, Rosa, George, and Shannon bringing up the rear. They passed the circuit breaker box first on their way down the stairs, then some racks of basic tools, before finally reaching the bottom.

"Wow, this is bigger than I expected it to be," whispered Rudolf. They had turned on the lights on the way down, but that consisted of only a couple bare bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

"Yes. I hate coming down here. It feels like I'm getting swallowed up by some monster," whispered Shannon from the stairs.

"There's a lot of nooks and crannies to hide in as well," said George. "Everyone be on your guard."

The group of people pressed on into the room. Rudolf found a couple flashlights and passed one to George. Technically the light bulbs above gave off enough light, but the group was still comforted by the additional light provided by the beams. With that comfort, they began to spread out a little, looking into the shadows.

Then Rosa screamed.
>> No. 20633 edit



Beatrice grinned at her soon-to-be-victim. "You've done your best, Kanon. I applaud you. In any other gameboard this would likely be a room I would be unable to touch."

Kanon gritted his teeth in frustration. He'd done everything in his power to keep this witch at bay, and yet here she still was. "Very well, if you are here, then I will simply have to kill you."

Beatrice laughed and shook her head. "I'm sorry, Kanon, but after dozens of games, I've finally perfected my counter-move against you. I know how to kill you without fail. There will be no extended battle. I shall kill you in one strike, with one of my goats." With that, she summoned up one of her goat butlers. His massive, muscular frame was tense and ready for action. An energy blade extended from his arm and he growled at his prey.

"A goat? You underestimate me, witch. You would need a legion of these to kill me." Kanon extended an energy blade from his own arm.

"Hoh? Then let us test this. I say my furniture shall kill you in one strike. Prove me wrong, furniture of Kinzo!"

The two combatants rushed at each other. The goat swung strongly, with a slash that would have decapitated Kanon in an instant, had his head remained at the same level. Instead, he had ducked and driven his blade deep into the goat's chest. The goat spat blood.

"You were saying?" spat Kanon, looking around his dying opponent, but he was confused to see the witch smiling.

"Bravo, Kanon. You killed my furniture in one strike. You are a formidable opponent indeed, with speed and agility to rival the Seven Sisters. Yet, you do have one weakness. You're small."

Kanon shouted, "So? That just means I'll take even more goats down because they can't hit me!" Tears began to flow from the goat's eyes.

Beato shook her head. "No, Kanon, you don't understand. You are physically small, and that goat is big. Let me introduce you. This is no mere goat, but the infamous Goat-kun! He excels at precisely one thing..." At that, the goat began to topple forward, and Kanon's eyes went wide.

O...onii-chan, I've become a running gag... As the sparkling drops from the goat's eyes scattered, he leaned forwards and fell on Kanon. The full weight of Goat-kun landed on the top half of Kanon's head as he tried but failed to get out of the way, and everything from the nose up was crushed.

"...Falling," finished Beatrice. With a smirk, she waved her pipe and made Goat-kun transform into something more appropriate for the surroundings. "Only furniture can defeat furniture, after all." Cackling, she turned to the door and whispered something in red. The words flowed into the locks and the handles glowed red for a moment, then faded. “Three down, three to go.” Glancing at a clock on the wall, she frowned. “I have to pick up the pace!” With that, she dissolved into a swarm of golden butterflies and vanished.
>> No. 20634 edit



Hideyoshi and Nanjo scrambled over to the door leading to the basement. “What’s wrong?!” shouted Hideyoshi into the darkness below.

“It’s alright,” Rudolf called back up. “Rosa just walked into a spiderweb. It’s a mess down here.”

“I understand,” Hideyoshi replied, looking over at the two women who had resumed glaring at each other once the scream had been explained. “Things are a mess up here too.” Walking over to the two ladies, he came up behind Eva and put his hands gently on her shoulders. “Alright. Eva, how about you pair off with me for the rest of the search, hmm? Then Natsuhi can go with Nanjo and Battler. Is that alright with you, Natsuhi?" he asked.

"...Yes," she said, hesitantly, though her eyes glanced between the two of them suspiciously.

"Good," said Hideyoshi, ignoring her look. "Nanjo?" Nanjo nodded. "Batt-...where's Battler? Oh. Hey Battler, we're switching up the groups. Are you alright to continue with Natsuhi and Nanjo?" he asked.

Battler, who'd been a ways away testing the knobs on the parlor door to make sure they were still locked, looked up. "Sure."

The newly assigned groups resumed the search, with Nanjo, Natsuhi, and Battler looking over by the parlor and Eva and Hideyoshi looking over near the servants' quarters.
>> No. 20635 edit



Krauss and Kyrie were looking through what Krauss had termed the "junk room." It was a large room on the other side of the study, which looked like it would have been a very ornate guest room at one point. However, many random knick-knacks, odds and ends, and boxes that didn't have anywhere else to go seemed to have migrated here over time.

"Back when I was young I remember that Father insisted that this room be kept pristine, though he wouldn't say why. Around my early teen years though he suddenly lost interest, and we've used it as storage space since," explained Krauss, looking under the bed that still remained in the room.

Kyrie stepped around the pile of what looked like hiking and spelunking equipment, some of which she knew Battler brought, that had been set in the center of the room and wandered over to the closet. "Well, no offense, but I wish you'd kept it pristine. Locked would have been good, too. Now there's more places for the killer to- hang on, what's this?"

"What's what?" asked Krauss, coming over.

"There's...what looks like a button behind these boxes. Give me a hand with them." Together, they shifted the boxes out of the closet, revealing what did seem to be two painted-over buttons next to a strange indentation. Looking at each other, they both shrugged, and Kyrie pushed the top button. For an instant, there was the sound of straining machinery, and then the back of the indentation slid to the side, revealing a recess that would probably fit a child easily but an adult would be cramped.

"It's a dumbwaiter!" exclaimed Krauss. "I didn't know we had one of these in this house."

"You didn't?" asked Kyrie, skeptically. "That seems like the kind of thing that someone who lived here would know. Anyways, we should probably find out where it leads. If this house has one secret, it may have more."

"How do you suggest-" Krauss began, but Kyrie was already crouching and climbing into the dumbwaiter. "Oh. Make room." Kyrie looked at him incredulously, but Krauss frowned in reply. "No offense, but if you think I'm letting you use this as an excuse to run off alone, you're not as smart as you seem. Now shift."

Together they stuffed themselves into the dumbwaiter, packed as tightly as a can of sardines, and Kyrie managed to get her hand back out to push the second button. She barely managed to pull her hand back in time before the door of the dumbwaiter shaft shut and they were plunged into pitch blackness. With a slight hum, the dumbwaiter began to move.

"What if the killer is waiting for us at the other end?" asked Krauss.

"You bring this up now?!" asked Kyrie in an angry whisper, before they both fell silent again.

They went down a few feet, then moved to the side for some time, before finally going down another few feet. The humming stopped, and they were left in silent darkness.

"Or, maybe literal nothing is waiting for us," muttered Kyrie, annoyed.

"Now what?" asked Krauss. "We're trapped!"

"Feel around, what do you feel? I've got metal on all the sides I can reach.

"Metal, metal...is that plaster?" Krauss ran his hand along the surface. "I think it is. Kyrie, kick as hard as you can."

"You're lucky I'm wearing heels," she replied, and brought her knee up as much as she could, which had the possibly unintended effect of ramming Krauss in the gut. Then she lashed out with her foot, and punched a small hole in the wall. Light came streaming in, and together Krauss and Kyrie forced their way out of the wall, looking like a couple of babies being born.
Krauss flopped out of the dumbwaiter first, letting out a yelp and recoiling his hand. A box of sewing needles was spilled open and laying on the floor in front of him and one had skewered his palm. Standing, he hissed in pain as he pulled it out and dropped it to the side. Kyrie brushed the plaster off of her and looked around. "Supply closet?" she asked. Around her were shelves with various household tools and supplies, and up ahead they could both see a room.

"Yes, I think this is the servants' rooAAAAGH!" Krauss said as he walked out of the closet and saw the scene before him. There was Kanon, lying on the floor. The top half of his head, however, was crushed beneath a sofa and looked like it had popped like a zit. Stumbling backward, Krauss bumped into the wall beside the dumbwaiter, and seemingly triggered it to return to the junk room, as it lifted off out of sight, leaving an empty passage.

Kyrie, prepared for what she'd see based on Krauss' reaction, simply frowned and walked over to the room's main door. Twisting the knob, she found it locked. "Krauss, check the body for a key."

Gingerly patting down the servant's body, Krauss shook his head. "The key's gone. We're trapped."

At this, Kyrie's eyes widened and she began looking around the room, trying to see where someone might be hiding. She also began to pound on the door, calling for help. Krauss ran up to join her.
>> No. 20636 edit



"Help!" "Let us out!" "We are locked in here!"

The shouts, although muffled, reached those on the first floor. Everyone piled around the door to the servants' quarters, trying to tug open the door. Those in the boiler room heard the stomping of feet upstairs and decided to run up to see what was happening.

"Shannon!" said Battler as soon as he saw her. "We need your master key! Kyrie and Krauss are locked in the servants' room!"

"What?!" said Shannon in shock as she handed him the key.

He ran over to the door and put the key in the lock. At least he tried to. However, the key only went in partway and would not insert itself fully. "The key doesn't work! Is it the master key?!"

As the shouts continued from within the room, Shannon ran over and took the key from Battler. "Yes! Yes this a master key! Why isn't it working?" She tried to jam it in the lock herself, but again it wouldn't go in. After a third try she shouted, "Wait, I have an idea!" With that, she ran off towards the parlor, while Hideyoshi shouted upstairs to get Jessica and Genji.
Natsuhi shouted at the door for Krauss and Kyrie to calm down, that Shannon was getting a way to get them out. Then her eyes widened as Shannon called out, "I have it!" and came running back, holding the rifle from the parlor in her hands. Then she stumbled, and there was a loud bang as she pulled the trigger. Everyone in the hall dove for cover. Inside, Kyrie and Krauss followed suit, diving away from the door and over the sofa. "Are they shooting at us?" asked Krauss, incredulously. Luckily for all present, the gun had been pointed more or less vertically, and the discharge was mostly towards the ceiling. People were getting ready to get up from the ground when Shannon recovered from her shock and took a couple more steps towards the door, then leveled the rifle at the knobs, sticking her tongue out in concentration. Seeing this, everyone stayed down.

At that moment, Genji and Jessica came down the stairs. "Shannon!" said Genji, forcefully.
"Ahh!" replied a startled Shannon. So startled, in fact, that she turned towards him and pulled the trigger at the same time. The gun roared again, and Genji and Jessica came tumbling down the stairs. Frightened, Shannon dropped the rifle and ran over to them.

"Shannon, it is never a wise idea for furniture to handle weaponry," said Genji as he got up and helped Jessica to her feet after knocking them both over to protect her. A flustered Shannon apologized.

Meanwhile, Battler had grabbed the rifle off the ground. "And shooting at a lock is your first go-to? What kind of movies have you seen?" Running to the door, he smashed the butt of the rifle against the door repeatedly. As he and George and Hideyoshi rammed against the damaged door, it finally burst open.

"What is it, where's the killer!" shouted Battler, spinning the gun right-way-round and scanning the room.

Krauss stuck his hands up in fright at the sight of Battler wielding the rifle, but Kyrie remained calm. "They may be in here, but I doubt it, or they'd have acted before we could have raised an alarm. At any rate, they have claimed another victim," she said, gesturing at Kanon.

"Kanon!" screamed Jessica, running in, then looking at Kyrie. "It was you, wasn't it? You got in here alone with him and...and..."

"...And what? Asked him to calmly lie on the floor while I somehow lift up the corner of this sofa, drag it over, and drop it on him? I'm glad you think so highly of my persuasiveness and upper body strength," replied Kyrie, oozing sarcasm.

"Well the door was locked and you were the one who discovered him, so you must have snuck in here somehow to do it!"

"Your father and I found him together, though that reminds me, why did you bash the door in? Why not use a master key?"

"For some reason the master key was not working on this door, according to Shannon," said Genji, arriving to the room. "How is it that you and Krauss came to be in here?"

"We found a dumbwaiter from the junk room to here, and we got stuck in it so we had to force our way out," replied Krauss, finally remembering to lower his hands.

Genji nodded. "The dumbwaiter. I had believed sealing it would be enough, but that would be possible. Pardon me. Doctor Nanjo?"

Together the pair looked over Kanon's corpse while the rest gathered and searched the room. Krauss and Kyrie went further into the explanation of what happened. Together Battler and George verified the hole in the supply closet wall that was apparently the dumbwaiter, although now there was just a small empty passage reaching up into the darkness. They even found the fallen box of needles that the tiny wound on Krauss' hand was supposedly from.
"It's true that he does not have his master key," said Genji, standing. "Nor any other possession."

"Great, so now the killer has a master key!" shouted Eva, exasperated.

"Wait, I think I found it," said Rosa, lifting up a key from a small end table by the door. When Genji walked over to her she handed it to him.

"Yes, this is a master key," confirmed Genji, putting it into his now-bulging pocket with the others.

"So why didn't you just open it using that?" asked Battler.

"We, uh...we didn't look there," replied Krauss, for the first time in Battler's memory looking somewhat sheepish.

"Even if they had, it is just like mine," said Shannon. "I don't know why mine wouldn't work, but I doubt theirs would have either." Battler frowned at her response, but seemed to accept it. The locks on the door had been too bent by the force required to get in to allow for testing.

"Well, at least we can be sure he's dead this time," said Rudolf, a little bitterly and looking at Nanjo. "Who knows what our unreliable doctor would have said otherwise."

"Unreliable, or lying?" asked Battler. "It's obvious that Kinzo was alive the first time, or otherwise why would he be killed again later? Then there was that bit of burned paper that had Nanjo's name on it. Maybe it had Gohda's too. Maybe it detailed a different way the inheritance would go, and now Nanjo's trying to claim it all!"

"But then why would he burn it?" asked George, exasperated.

"That's because...hmm...alright, I don't know. I still think it's weird how he called Grandfather dead before."

"I, I've said before, I thought he was! Genji, my old friend, surely you don't believe I'd lie about that, right?" asked Nanjo, looking to Genji for support.

All he got back, though, was a cold gaze. "The question is a sensible one. Doctor Nanjo, for both your safety and for ours, I must request that we lock you into a room. Jessica and I have made sure that her room is secure once, and we can do so again. I would suggest there, as that way we'll have three people to let you out in case Battler's suspicions are wrong and you feel that you are in danger."

"I already feel like I'm in danger," murmured Nanjo, but acquiesced.

"H-hey, I'm not really ok with locking Nanjo into my room. After all, it's my room!" said Jessica, angrily.

"Jessica, this is what's needed for your family!" said Natsuhi. "This is no time for modesty."

Jessica pouted but finally acquiesced. Together they all went up to her room, Genji took out one of the master keys, unlocked the door that had been relocked after they'd searched it, and opened it up. Jessica went in to pick up her key from the desk where she'd left it, and then they locked Nanjo inside alone.

"Alright, now what? We can't just presume he's the murderer, no matter how suspicious he may be," said George. "Are we just going to lock ourselves up too? I think the house has been pretty well searched."

"At least all the parts we know about. There was a dumbwaiter that you just neglected to mention? Genji? Shannon?"

"I had believed it not important, as it was covered in the VIP room and plastered over in the servants' quarters. Shannon did not know of it and should not be blamed," stated Genji.

"And is there anything else hidden? Anything you believed to be not important?"

"I am under an obligation to serve my Master for the rest of this night, and as such may not speak of such things further," replied the faithful servant.

"A denial that speaks volumes!" said Eva, getting into the mix.

"I am not denying anything," said Genji, calmly.

"Another denial!" shot back Eva.

"Regardless, we still haven't decided how we are to react," reiterated George.

Rudolf nodded at Battler. "The brat has a point. If Genji won't affirm for us that there aren't any further secret spaces in the house, we need to check ourselves. I suggest we search again, this time looking for anything that might be a secret door. Same groups?"

With grumbled nods of assent, everyone got ready to split up again. Before they did so, Battler looped into a quick and close huddle with Jessica and George. "Look," he said. "I could see one of our parents or maybe a servant killing Grandfather for the money, but not one of us. We're not really strapped for cash, and you two don't care about the headship anyways. I trust us. So be safe, and keep an especially close eye on all the old geezers. If someone is killing for the inheritance, we have to look at those with the best motive."

After that, everyone walked off.
>> No. 20637 edit



Krauss and Kyrie stayed on the top floor with Genji and Jessica. The former pair returned to the storage room where the gold bar had once lay, as Kyrie reasoned that if any room were to have a secret passage of some kind, this was a likely candidate, and as such they should check it thoroughly before moving to Kinzo's study. The latter pair, meanwhile, resumed checking the top floor guest rooms.


Battler, Natsuhi, Eva, and Hideyoshi traveled down to the ground floor together with Shannon, Rudolf, Rosa, and George. It was decided that Shannon wouldn't need to lock up the parlor again after she'd unlocked it to get the gun. Furthermore, she would investigate for passages near the top of the stairs to the boiler room so she could facilitate conversation. With mutual wishes for good luck, the groups split up, with Battler and Natsuhi heading to investigate the parlor, Eva and Hideyoshi heading to investigate the servants' quarters, and the other four heading into the boiler room, with Shannon in the rear.


As the three who weren't staying on the stairs for the boiler room reached the bottom, Rudolf handed George one of the two flashlights and had him go off with Rosa for safety, while he investigated near the boiler itself.
>> No. 20638 edit



"You'd think there'd be one here, but this isn't a very large room," said Kyrie. "I can't think of anywhere else one would be."

"I agree," said Krauss. "The study would almost certainly have one though, if anywhere does. Let's head there."


"Dear, what if Krauss and Kyrie were lying and they actually worked together to kill Kanon in this room? And everyone else?" asked Eva. Now that she was out of earshot of the others, she showed her more vulnerable side to Hideyoshi.

"Oh come now, Eva. You really think those two are capable of murdering an innocent young man?"

"You don't know Krauss like I do," she murmured, sadly, as they continued to look.


"I suppose if there were some kind of freaky secret passage in here it would explain how Kinzo escaped after fooling us," sighed Battler, looking under the table where the gun had originally been placed for some kind of trap door.

"That's true, but I don't think there are any. I've lived here for two decades with Krauss, I think I would have kno-OH!" began Natsuhi, inspecting a bookcase. When she tugged on one book that seemed to be a little off-color from the surrounding ones, the bookcase and the floor beneath it rotated into the wall, leaving a bookcase and flooring that seemed to be identical in its place.

"Aunt Natsuhi? Aunt Natsuhi!" said Battler, standing up too fast and hitting his head on the table. Staggering over to the bookcase, he called into it, "Are you alright?"

"Battler! ...book...stuck...too dark..." These were the words that Battler was able to make out.


"...pulled on a book...too dark to see..."

He smushed his mouth against the wall by the bookcase. "Listen to me very carefully, Aunt Natsuhi. Put. The book. Back."

"...can't tell...book...try to find exit...tell...others..."

Battler nodded and jogged over to the stairway to the boiler room, signaling to Shannon.


"Natsuhi found a passage in the parlor, but we aren't sure how she opened it or how to get to her now. She's going to find a way out and Battler's going to try to figure out how to open it again," shouted down Shannon to the others around the corner of the stairs.

"Wow, so there actually are secret passages in this house... I always thought that the rooms felt drafty," chuckled Rudolf in disbelief. "You guys find anything?" he asked his two companions.

"No secret passages yet. Just more spiderwebs," said Rosa, shuddering. "Shannon needs to get down here with a feather duster.

"Ah the miraculous feather duster," smirked Rudolf. "It can do so many things. Don't you think so, George?"

"I-I suppose," replied George, his face flushing in the light of the flashlights.



The mansion went dark, except for those flashlights, as all electricity went out.
>> No. 20639 edit



After the others had left him alone in Jessica's room, the stress of the last few hours and the time of day had caught up with Nanjo's old body, and he'd fallen into a doze in a chair. He was startled awake, though, by a feeling he couldn't explain. The room was dark when he opened his eyes, but he was certain someone else was there.

Then, in a flash of lightning, the figure of a blond-haired woman in an elegant dress was revealed.

"Y-you!" said Nanjo. "It can't be! You're dead!"

"Sorry, Nanjo," said Beatrice, looking at a small pocket watch she conjured out of thin air. "Any other day I could give you the whole backstory and explanation of magic and why death doesn't mean anything to me. I mean, usually people on this island just LOVE to yammer on about absolutely everything, don't they? But Kinzo messed with the rules, and I'm on the clock." So saying, Beato reached out and lightly tapped the end of her pipe against the top of his head. Where it had touched, a slight indentation formed, and then grew. Nanjo, unable to speak first from shock, was then unable to speak as his skull fragmented and bone stabbed into his brain, killing him. "That should work," grinned Beato, turning to leave. Much to her apparent surprise, however, the pipe was stuck in Nanjo's wound. She tugged at it a few times, but it was like it had become frozen in a fixed point in space. "Oh come on, not now, not now! Ugh, fine!" With a wave of her hands, the pipe began to grow and alter in shape, even as Beatrice turned into golden butterflies and flew out of the room.



Shannon entered the darkened junk room, which had once been the VIP room back before she had been a servant, and shut the door.

"Thank you for answering my summons," whispered the witch, silhouetted against the slight amount of light coming in through the window.

"I am here to expose you, not help you," said Shannon, sternly.

"Oh? Expose me? Leave me fully exposed? That's quite naughty of you, Shannon. I think somewhere a new slashfic was born. The censors would go nuts, and the fanboys would drown from all the nosebleeds! So I'm afraid I can't let you do that."

Turning around, Shannon took out her master key and locked the door, leaving the key in the lock. "You can't stop me," she said. You're trapped in here alone with me, and my shield can repel all of your magics. The time for jokes is over." With a look of concentration, a red shield formed around Shannon, one that could squish Beatrice into a pulp against the wall.

Beatrice gasped in mock horror. "Over? But there's still some fourth wall that hasn't been shattered! Still, how about one riddle before I go?"

Shannon didn't answer, approaching cautiously.

"I'm a witch, which means I'm made of wood. What animal do I weigh the same as?"

This brought Shannon up short, and she looked confused. As her will faltered, a golden thread flashed out from a dark corner and wrapped around Shannon's neck. Her eyes bulged and she thrashed against the thread, but there was no escape. The Chiester Sisters had found a weakness.

"For reference," said Beatrice, stepping close to Shannon, "the answer was 'duck.'" She then snapped her fingers, and Shannon's neck echoed.

"Nyeh, I feel dirty referencing that movie," said Chiester 410. "Pendragon always feels insulted by it."

"Well what would you have suggested, hmm?" asked Beatrice with her hands on her hips, looking annoyed.

"How about some Phantom? 'Keep your hand at the level of your eye,' nyeh!"

Beatrice scoffed. "No one cares about musicals."

"...I like musicals..." said Chiester 45, quietly.

"Well anyways, I have others to kill. Come!" said Beato.

"Sorry Beatrice," said 410. "This one is a one-and-done, nyeh. Rules of this board. Ihihihihi!" With that, Chiester 45 and 410 disappeared.

"Wait, what? Blast! I'm losing all my weapons!" frowned Beatrice, idly kicking the prone form of Shannon like a petulant child. "I'm not giving up yet! You hear me, you old bastard?!" shouted Beatrice, vanishing from the room.



In the hall, Beatrice ran back and forth. She had initially considered running to the parlor and offing Battler, but with his stupid magic resistance it would be too risky. Then she ran towards the servants' quarters, but Eva and Hideyoshi were on guard, which meant there was too much magic-resistant toxin for her to approach.

Then, the doorbell rang.

Beatrice's eyes widened. She down at her feet, scooped up what was there, and made a dash for the door. Waving her hand wildly, she unlocked it, and then she yanked it open in a desperate fashion. Standing there with a cute sleepy expression, carrying her bag and an umbrella, was Maria.

Maria's eyes grew huge in an instant and she gasped excitedly. "Beatrice! U-"

"Nope!" said Beatrice, and Maria's face exploded. "It really is good against witches, isn't it," muttered Beatrice, tossing her item on the ground beside where Maria had fallen and shutting the door, locking it once more.

As the clock clicked to 11:45, Beatrice sighed. "That ought to be enough for those mystery freaks out there. So how about it? Ready to admit it was magic?" She cackled and dissolved into golden butterflies as the lights came back on.
>> No. 20640 edit



As they were able to see once more by more than the embers in the fireplace, Krauss and Kyrie found themselves face to face with Natsuhi, who was emerging from behind a bookcase in Kinzo's study. Natsuhi explained how she'd found the secret passage in the parlor, and Krauss hugged his wife close. Together they left the study and came across Genji and Jessica, and all as one they came downstairs. They were following a pounding that was coming from the ground floor. Once there, they joined up with Eva and Hideyoshi, who said they had been waiting in the servants' quarters while the lights were out. On hearing Natsuhi's voice, Battler exited the parlor and came to them as well.

The pounding was coming from the door to the boiler room, and Genji quickly pulled out a master key and opened it. Rudolf had been the one pounding on it, and there was the sound of a motor running from deep in the basement. Before anyone could say anything else, though, George asked, desperately, "Where's Shannon?"

"Shannon?" asked Battler. "I thought she was with your group."

"She was, but she isn't now," said Rosa. "We thought she had turned the electricity off for some reason, since she was near the circuit breaker box, but when we managed to get up here we found the door locked and no sign of her. It took us a few minutes to remember we'd seen a backup generator in the boiler room and to turn it on."

Rudolf sighed, closing the casing on the circuit breaker box. "It's pretty messed up. Circuits are fried, I think. Smells surprisingly good though. Like one of Gohda's sauces." Kyrie looked at her husband with a confused face, and he shrugged.

"It must have been the murderer," said Hideyoshi. "It's easier to take us in the dark."

George looked at his father with terror, then ran off into the mansion, yelling for Shannon. Battler and Jessica ran off after him, and the rest of the adults followed suit after a couple of moments looking at each other.

Battler caught up to George at the top of the stairs. Clapping a hand on his shoulder, he held him up. "Come on, right side and circle around." With that, the three cousins began a fast search. First they encountered a guest room and George ran in, but there was no sign of Shannon. So Battler ran to the next door, the door to the junk room. "It's locked?" he said, working the doorknob. "Why would it be locked?" He rammed his shoulder against the door a couple times before George was standing behind him.

"Move," said George, simply, and Battler quickly got out of the way, afraid of the fire in George's eyes. With an incredible kick, George busted the door open and revealed the scene inside.

Shannon was lying in the middle of the room near the pile of hiking equipment, her eyes and tongue bulging and her neck at an odd angle. A yellow rope looked like it had been pulled from the equipment and wrapped around her neck.

Jessica turned away in shock and hid her face in Battler's chest, who awkwardly held her until the shock passed. George, meanwhile, slowly staggered into the room and fell to his knees, staring at the body of his love. At that point the adults caught up with them. Eva and Hideyoshi pushed past Jessica and Battler and walked towards their son. On hearing their footsteps, George said, quietly, "Get out." They took another hesitant step towards him and he turned and shouted, tears streaming down his face, "Get OUT!" He stood and rushed at them with such ferocity that they staggered back out of the room. George slammed the door shut, but it rebounded a little as its knob had been broken. The force of the slam had actually caused the knob to hang on some wooden splinters on the outside of the door, and everyone could see there, in the side of the knob that had been on the inside of the room, a master key. Genji walked over and removed it without a word, adding it to his collection. Then he opened the door.

"Please permit me to examine her," said Genji. "I have known her ever since she was a child, and I promise I shall do so with the utmost respect.

George looked like he was about to lash out at Genji, but then his rage died out and his sadness overwhelmed him. He returned to his kneeling position by her body, but made no move to stop Genji.

Genji looked over the body, noting no immediately apparent defensive wounds. Her neck was indeed broken and her throat seemed somewhat crushed by the rope. In addition, the rope was somewhat wet to the touch, but not soaked. Genji left George by the body and went out into the hallway to relay his findings.

"Was she strangled by the rope?" asked Kyrie.

"I am not knowledgeable enough to say," replied Genji. "We would need Doctor Nanjo to know."

Krauss frowned, then made up his mind. "Then we go get him. He couldn't have killed Shannon, since he was locked up in Jessica's room anyways."

Agreeing, the group went to Jessica's room. Jessica took her key out of her pocket and unlocked the door. Inside was another gruesome sight. Nanjo was seated in a chair, a long and oddly-shaped wooden object buried in his skull, having seemingly bashed his face in.

"What is that?" asked Rosa.

"Is...is that a hat stand?" asked Natsuhi. "I didn't know there were any around."

"We had one stored in the VIP room," said Genji. "And yes, it is a hat stand. It seems it's been used as a makeshift staff." Genji knelt down and looked over Nanjo. "No defensive wounds. Either he was very comfortable with his attacker, or he was caught completely by surprise with someone carrying a hat stand."

"I can't imagine either case in these circumstances," said Hideyoshi, perplexed.

"I can't imagine how anyone even got to him," said Battler. "He couldn't even open the door to let anyone in!"

"Still, two people dead, and neither one shot. I could have sworn I heard a gunshot. Maybe it was thunder..."

"I know what you're talking about! I thought I heard the front door shut about half a minute after that, and then the lights came on!" said Eva.

"The murderer might be going after Maria!" shouted Rosa, and ran back out and down the stairs, with everyone else besides George in hot pursuit. Upon reaching the front door, Rosa yanked on it, but found it locked. "Genji!" she yelled, and in a couple seconds Genji had appeared and unlocked the door. Together they pulled open the double doors and revealed the body of a young girl.

Judging by the size and clothing it was almost certainly Maria, but most of her face was smashed and scorched black. Her bag had fallen open beside her, and all the items that the relatives had mentioned they'd lost were strewn about on the ground, as well as a master key. On the other side of her was the rifle. The group circled around her as Rosa wept, saying over and over what a stupid Mama she was. Jessica, Kyrie, and Hideyoshi helped distribute everyone's missing belongings, and Jessica gave the master key to Genji.

"Is there anything else in there?" asked Genji, but Jessica shook her head. Genji frowned at this, but nodded.

"Oh ho ho ho," came a familiar chuckle from the direction of the guest house. "If I'd known that I'd have worried everyone so, I would have taken a nap sooner. I'm sorry, Rosa, it seems I dozed off and Maria took my-eeeeeeeekkkkkkk!" She screamed as she saw the corpse before her.

Natsuhi wrapped a comforting arm around her and guided her inside, trying to get her to calm down. Meanwhile, Battler picked up Maria and brought her inside so she would not suffer the elements. At the suggestion of Genji, who carried in the rifle, they all gathered in the parlor. As they entered, Genji saw a flash of something reflective falling past the window that had the hole in it. Walking over, he opened the window and saw that they were George's glasses. Looking up, he saw George standing on the windowsill, looking like he was preparing to jump.

"George, come down from there!" he shouted, as everyone in the parlor tensed.

"I have nothing to live for, Genji!"

"Even if that is the case, a fall from that height, while it would certainly injure you, would probably not kill you! Besides, I can offer you revenge!"

At this, George paused, and then stepped away from the sill.

Hideyoshi, who had come over to try to help, looked to Genji. "What do you mean, revenge?"

Without immediately answer, Genji walked slowly over to the chair where Kinzo had once sat. He poured himself a brandy and, turning, he sat down slowly with the gun in his lap. A sigh that was full of exhaustion escaped him, and he picked up a couple roasted almonds off the floor, popping them into his mouth and chewing thoughtfully. At that point George came dashing into the room. "Genji! Explain!"
>> No. 20641 edit



Genji took a sip of the brandy, and said, "It was a valiant attempt, and so I congratulate you, but mistakes were made. One in particular will doom the attempt, and another will make it utterly pointless. Gohda in the kitchen with the stake. Kanon in the servants' quarters with the furniture. Shannon in the VIP room with the gold rope. Nanjo in Jessica's room with the hat stand. Maria at the entrance with the rifle. Who killed Kinzo Ushiromiya, where, and with what? I know who did it, and I'm going to explain how it was all done."


>> No. 20832 edit
Argh! I wanted to change my name to prevent confusion, and it deleted my post! Just my luck...

To summarize the original message, if it is possible could we get a layout of the areas that have been revealed in the mansion? I understand if this isn't possible, however.

Also, I am working on a timeline for character locations, and would like permission to post it once it's done.

Last edited at 17/10/12(Thu)14:39:28
>> No. 20838 edit
File 150786940339.png - (46.72KB , 1815x864 , Twine Ball.png )

"Hoh, it seems I've finally found my first challenger. Kihihihihihihi!" cackled Beatrice, stepping out to center stage and looking every inch the ruler of Rokkenjima.

"I suppose I can grant your request for a map, if it will make you feel better. It won't help you anyways!" She grinned a wicked grin and waved her pipe. In a shower of gold, a large parchment appeared.

"Behold!" she said proudly. "Complete and 100 percent accurate blueprints for-" She paused as she looked at them, then looked to the side. Offstage, Rudolf looked chagrined, shrugging. Beside him, Kyrie facepalmed. Back on stage, Beatrice coughed and resumed "-the mansion in this gameboard would...be too easy! So instead I grant you this rough sketch. It is not to scale, but it decently approximates the relationship of all the rooms to each other. If you were to line up the landings on the first floor sketch and the second floor sketch, you'd have an approximation of how they stack, as well!"

"Do not be concerned with how the secret passage physically connects," she continued, "nor how the dumbwaiter, with its openings marked in with red lines, connects. I have marked Rosa's, Eva's, and Rudolf's rooms, but know that these rooms count as 'guest rooms' when search patterns are discussed."

"Windows are marked in blue. The unmarked items in the Study are Kinzo's desk and the fireplace. The unmarked items in the Parlor are Kinzo's chair, the table, and the sofa. The lines in one section of the Basement are storage shelves."

She took a deep breath. "Finally, there are two rooms that I have given red text, declaring them unimportant. The red text on the sketch is official red text. The rooms are there, they exist, but were not mentioned in the tale, so they can be disregarded!"

She smirked, and threw the sheet up into the air. It grew in size, and hung itself from the rafters so that all challengers could see it clearly.

"Now then, as for your other request, you precocious upstart, I will grant your permission to post it. However, I am under no obligation to confirm it, correct it, or point out gaps, so you'd better be sure of it. After all, when it comes to witches, we can live one thousand years in the time it takes you pitiful humans to live six! Kyahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!" She cackled, then gave a defiant and sinister grin.

"Just try to open this catbox!"

Last edited at 17/10/12(Thu)21:37:55
>> No. 20842 edit
File 15079380023.png - (107.78KB , 6433x528 , Umineko Character Location.png )
Thank you so much Beatrice for your generosity! It has been SO much help in creating my timeline.

In other news, oh god, the word Parlor and Entry don't look like words anymore, but I finally finished my spreadsheet. By the way, I am sorry for the size; it was originally an actual spreadsheet, but that wouldn't attach, so I went with an image.

To give details to anyone else who wants to use it, it goes by time and character, and lists where characters are said to be during MYSTERY sections. FANTASY sections are disregarded, as although they may have hints and clues, I at this point don't know how to separate truth and lie.

This is very important, so I'm going to say it twice; this spreadsheet is not supposed to include FANTASY sections!

Now, when it comes to locations, if a character goes to multiple locations during the same time period, it will be separated by commas.

If a location has "(?)" next to it, it means that it hinted, either through character dialogue, or in the story that a character would be there, without it definitely being said or shown. It is a clue to be taken with a grain of salt, but something to keep in mind. A character might assume another character to be in a certain place, or a character might say they were in a certain place, but that doesn't necessarily mean that is the truth.

A location that is "(?)" means that a character is or is headed somewhere, but it was not revealed where. For example, a character might be having a conversation with another, but there isn't a hint about their location, real or fake. A character might be entering a room, but it is not stated where they had previously come from.

A blank means that the character or their location during this time was simply not mentioned at all. Expect this a lot at times when Fantasy occurs.

While I did my best to be as accurate as possible, I can't say it is perfect; especially as I had to go over my worksheet again with the inclusion of the map layout (something I expected to do, but extra work is still extra work). In the end I'm only human. But, I made extra care to keep it accurate and to make no assumptions.

Do I have an answer to who's the serial murder here yet?

Well. No.

Through this however, I gained more hints! Mainly that Kanon's time of death is... uncertain. Up to 10:25 Kanon was definitely alive, but after that we can't be sure if he still is or not. I know Shanon gave the signal and received the Boiler Key, but it wasn't clear if she actually saw Kanon.
>> No. 20880 edit
File 149012126060.png - (686.37KB , 1070x1162 , Bea_a21_default_2.png )

"Well, what is a witch if not generous?" replied Beatrice. "Still, I must recognize the great effort put into this. I daresay this might be the most fitting tribute to the witch that I have ever seen."

She then looked directly at the audience with a smug grin. "If none are willing to sit at the gameboard after something like this is provided, then I suppose I have won..."
>> No. 20881 edit
File 15084206391.png - (490.33KB , 850x600 , yuuka9.png )
How funny that nobody would even try the obvious bait. Seems like that one is up to me again. After all it would be the worst to think too far if we might just have been told the solution.

Kinzo's first death: Nobody died here.
Kinzo obviously had some plan for the night. He fired at the window to lure people back to him. The ring was hidden via secret passage.
Nanjo was in on it.

But a half-decent witch wouldn't do that, right?
>> No. 20882 edit

Beatrice winced. "No half-decent... No half-decent?!" She started fuming while backstage Rudolf and Kyrie looked frantically for Ronove.

"...Fine! I'll show you what kind of fantastic witch I am! I'll rip this pathetic blue to shreds! To start with, the ring was not hidden via secret passage! How do you like that?! Furthermore, Kinzo did not fire the gun at the window to lure people back! As for the rest-mrphrmbrhm!"

Ronove had clapped his hand over her mouth and was frantically whispering in Beatrice's ear while Rudolf and Kyrie caught their breath offstage.

Beatrice calmed down and plucked the hand away from her mouth. "...ahem. A great witch like myself knows not to let simple insults affect her game. I'll let the other blues stand. For now."
>> No. 20922 edit
File 149013029149.jpg - (47.23KB , 700x700 , yuukaglass.jpg )
That so? In that case I just have to adjust the parts you denied, of course.

Same thing, except the ring was passed through the hole in the window, which was also made for that purpose.
He had his reasons, I'm sure.
>> No. 20929 edit
File 149012872536.png - (874.45KB , 1715x1136 , Beato_welcome.png )

Beato ground her teeth together, and looked to Ronove. Ronove, in turn, looked to Rudolf. Rudolf flipped through a scriptbook, and looked to Kyrie. Kyrie was deep in thought for a moment, then shook her head.

Beatrice looked incredibly tense, but then, with what seemed like a massive effort, relaxed and shrugged. "Alright, I won't face you on this battlefield just yet. I will not confirm what you have theorized in red, though, and I can always come back and smash it apart before the end. It merely amuses me to watch you think you have the correct answer. After all, when have any of my games ever been so simple as this?"

She cackled and held her arms wide. "Come, then! Shall you give me other blues for this room, or shall we hold a battle elsewhere?"
>> No. 20941 edit
File 150852813239.png - (122.77KB , 550x550 , LadyOctopus.png )
Oh, yay! I'm not doing this by myself, that's good!

I wanted to wait until someone else piped up so it's not just a flood of me talking (plus I don't think I could solve this on my own).

But, there's something I've been thinking about; Kyrie and Krauss have been kind of suspicious to me.

To be honest, I'm not sure they entered and got stuck inside the Servant's Hall via the dumbwaiter. I'll be completely honest, the reason I believe so is meta; the entry in which Krauss and Kyrie enter the dumbwaiter is a fantasy section. Such a mundane scene being fantasy must mean something, right? Something is hidden by it's existence.

It can't be them ending up in the servant's quarters, as we see them in the room in the next mystery scene. Same with the existence of the dumbwaiter and where it leads; these are absolute truths, spoken about in both the mystery section, and red "text" on the map. It could possibly be how Krauss got injured, but that seems like such a small thing to lie about. So, what makes sense to me is their entry via the Junk Room dumbwaiter is the one that's faulty.

They still somehow got into the Servant's room though, so how did they do it? They did not know the signal, and Kanon would have stabbed at them and called for help if they entered through the front door.

There is another possibility, as ridiculous as it is. It's possible that Krauss and Kyrie entered through one of the Servant Quarter's windows. Kanon thought the killer was one of the members in the mansion, so he wasn't watching out for anyone outside of the mansion attacking. He also wouldn't have considered someone inside the mansion coming in from the outside.

Looking at the text, I even have some possible evidence; the rope used to strangle Shannon was wet. This was very strange to me when I first saw the line; I thought it may have had something to do with the running shower, but I think I know now how it got wet. This rope was used to climb down into Servant's Room.

Last edited at 17/10/20(Fri)12:35:32
>> No. 20948 edit
File 150736714833.png - (158.78KB , 300x243 , rubus_transp_small_.png )
Krauss is certainly the most suspicious person. Because of the servants' quarters, and even more obviously because the gold bar room is unlockable "with a key that only he had", and "a key was required to lock or unlock every door in the mansion aside from Kinzo's study", which is very incriminating. That is certainly the most straightforward evidence against anyone.

And it is precisely because of this obvious evidence that it would be inelegant for Krauss to be the culprit! I will believe in your innocence, Krauss-san, even if noone else will!

* Krauss's gold bar room key was not in his possession the entire time! Someone else used it to take away the goldbar! Perhaps Krauss misplaced it, perhaps he gave it away, perhaps it was pickpocketed by Maria sneaking around, or whoever else!

* Even if not, when "Krauss shut <the gold bar room door>, turning the key", he did not actually seal the room! He could have turned the key without locking it, or locking it and then unlocking it again, or locking the door while it was open! The culprit entered the gold bar room, which had been left unlocked by Krauss! The next time the gold bar room is visited by the narrator, "Krauss let Kyrie into the room where once a gold bar had rested", notably no key or unlocking is mentioned.

(I have more, but I will avoid shotgunning)

Last edited at 17/10/20(Fri)06:08:21
>> No. 20949 edit
File 150850595045.jpg - (719.38KB , 1600x900 , beatrice-full-429446.jpg )
"Ahh, there we go. I was hoping that I'd have a multitude of challengers! It's so much more satisfying to destroy the hopes and dreams of many all at once, rather than one at a time! Kyaaahahahahahahaha!"

"Very well, as a welcome to this game, I shall give you each a red! Praiseworthy, is it not?"


"Krauss and Kyrie did not enter the servants' room via the windows."


"Hoh. Well thought out. Very well, I'll cede this point: when Krauss left the gold bar room with Natsuhi, the door did not end up properly locked. As for the exact reason why? Well, I'll hold on to that card for the moment."

"Bravo, detectives, I find this quite stimulating!"
>> No. 20950 edit
File 137220306536.png - (240.22KB , 500x524 , tumblr_m0l48pyq2d1r04uato1_500.png )

Gohda was actually dead before Kinzo's body was ever found. The narration states that Gohda was in the kitchen with Genji and Shannon, which would've been true - he'd been stuffed into a fridge. It's specifically noted Genji and Shannon had entered the kitchen together and the way the wording is, it's pretty clear Battler was only making small talk with the two of them. Gohda is nowhere to be found.

The killer had killed Gohda because they'd planned to strangle Kinzo and make it look as if Kinzo had been poisoned. The idea came to their head after they'd pickpocketed the key to Kinzo's study off of Genji and snuck into it, curious. There, they found the stakes and the secret passage to the parlor.

They killed Kinzo, strangling him. Unfortunately, while doing this, they had been witnessed by Maria, who'd snuck out of the guesthouse. The killer took the rifle, aimed at the window and fired, killing the girl. The murder had been witnessed from afar by Kanon, who wasn't sure what he'd seen, and later assuming what he saw was the killer firing at Kinzo from the outside, and no the other way around. Or, perhaps, he'd simply witnessed someone (Maria) sneaking around the mansion and assumed it was an intruder because it was dark.

The killer took the ring and hid it somewhere. The left the parlor through the secret passage and locked the study behind them. They then attacked and killed Gohda with the stake, having realized that they could make Kinzo's death look like a poisoning and stuffed him in a fridge. They later planted the key to the study back on Genji, before the body checks happened. Then, they went upon their business, until Kinzo's body was found. The sound Battler claimed to have heard really had just been thunder. The actual gunshot had been mixed in before then.

Later, the killer had a chance to move Kinzo's body back to the study through the secret passage. The killer was going to try and take advantage of the fact Kinzo's cause of death hadn't been certain.

Kanon's death is the one giving me the most trouble, mainly because the culprit would've had trouble gaining entry into the room. My best guess is that the door was never locked after Kanon gave the boiler key to Shannon. The killer, who took advantage of the commotion while Natushi and Eva were fighting, and simply entered the room, killing Kanon. They then took Kanon's master key, put it in the lock, and closed the door. The group, later assuming the door was locked, obviously couldn't turn the key. Kyrie and Krauss were dumbasses and didn't notice. Or maybe them yelling "we're trapped" came from while they were still trapped in the dumbwaiter. When Shannon blew the lock, the key flew out of it and landed in the corner.

As for Shannon's death, the killer took advantage of the blackout, killed her, took her key, killed the shit out of my man Nanjo (because if Nanjo could REALLY testify that Kinzo was dead at that time, that would've lessened the suspect pool; and Shannon was trouble if she realized the door to the servants' room wasn't actually locked). The killer then returned, put the key in the lock, and escaped by the dumbwaiter.

Finally, they put Maria's body in front of the front door.

Last edited at 17/10/20(Fri)08:22:40
>> No. 20952 edit

"...Ki...kiya...Kiyahahaha! Well well, that's quite a theory! It's like a sculpture of blue! I'll enjoy breaking it apart with a few sharp taps!"

Beato tapped her chin thoughtfully, then spoke:

"Strangling Kinzo would have left obvious marks. No such marks were observed when he was discovered.

Maria was not shot through the parlor window.

The killer never moved Kinzo's corpse through the secret passage.

Shannon didn't shoot the servants' quarters lock, remember?

During the blackout, at least one of the pair of Hideyoshi and Eva were in the servants' quarters at all times, and even in the dark would have noticed someone clambering out of the cramped dumbwaiter and running out of the room."

She cackled. "Oh my, it seems your blue truth might need some patching up, ehhhhh? I'd smash more but I should leave you a little hope..."
>> No. 20953 edit
File 137220095271.jpg - (110.26KB , 500x667 , tumblr_m4ytg3XsgH1qj1qsqo1_500.jpg )

Theory for Gohda's death remains the same.

Theory for how the culprit pickpocketed the study key off of Genji and then returned it to him is the same.

However, during that interval, instead of killing Kinzo, the culprit found out about the plan Kinzo had orchestrated. Kinzo was to fake his death and return via the secret passage, after Nanjo falsely confirmed the death.

During my timeline, when I had originally suggested the killer used the secret passage to bring the body to the study: the killer had simply killed Kinzo, who had gotten back to the study of his own free will.

Kanon's death happened the exact same way - door still wasn't locked - the only different is instead of the key the killer put something in the keyhole to make the key jam. The door itself, however, wasn't locked. The master key was either dropped in the room after the door was broken down, or it had been there the entire time and for whatever reason Krauss and Kyrie intentionally or unitentionally missed it.

The culprit didn't use the dumwaiter for Shannon's death - they simply locked the door from the outside and then dropped the key near the door while everyone was focused on George.

I still maintain Maria had been killed at an earlier point and then simply dragged to the front entrance, lessening the amount of time the culprit would've needed to prepare the scene.

The reason there was a hole in the window was because Kinzo had given his ring to Maria before initating the plan. Since that was in the plan outline, the culprit had found out about it, and she had to die at some point.

Kanon's story about an intruder was part of the fiction. Before Battler asked Genji to check up on Kinzo, the plan was for Kanon to rush in and claim he saw someone lurking around, prompting everyone to check the parlor and find Kinzo dead. Since Kinzo had already been found and was indeed dead for real, Kanon concluded something had gone terribly wrong and that the killer must've been among them.

>> No. 20954 edit

Offstage, Rudolf frantically flipped through the script while Krie thought.

Onstage, Beatrice looked like she was deep in thought. "Hmm...to tear the blue to shreds... Is it time yet....?" She asked the question almost impatiently, and glanced to the side. Suddenly, as if she had received some signal, she sighed.

"No, not quite yet, I don't think. I'll just take out one of your lynchpins. The door to the servants' quarters was locked immediately after Shannon received the boiler room key. So how did the killer get to Kanon, hmmmm?"
>> No. 20955 edit
File 150736714833.png - (158.78KB , 300x243 , rubus_transp_small_.png )
* Someone in the dumbwaiter kicked over the sofa while trying to smash through the plaster around the dumbwaiter entrance. Tragically, it fell on Kanon.

* Most likely, Kanon was killed by accident!

Last edited at 17/10/21(Sat)08:14:09
>> No. 20956 edit
File 150862906248.png - (204.35KB , 587x600 , Bea_a11_1_arigatou.png )

"So...let me get this straight. A sofa, just randomly on its end, got accidentally knocked over onto Kanon's head, because he'd decided to take a nap or something on the floor?"

Beatrice blinked a few times, then laughed. "Kyahahahhaaaahahah! Oh, that mental image is just too priceless! Kihihihihihihi!!" She laughed a bit more before finally regaining her composure.

Brushing a tear from her eye, she took a deep breath and straightened up. "Ahem. No. All deaths in this were intentional. A body with only half a head is definitely dead."
>> No. 20957 edit
File 150736714833.png - (158.78KB , 300x243 , rubus_transp_small_.png )
And why not! Kanon had had a busy day, he deserved a good nap. But there goes.

* When Krauss and Kyrie arrived in the servants' quarters, the dumbwaiter shaft entrance was already unsealed! It is a "fantasy" that the plaster was still intact!

* Indeed, that is how the murderer had entered the servants' quarters, before Krauss and Kyrie arrived!

* The murderer then killed Kanon, and also left through the dumbwaiter shaft!
>> No. 20985 edit
File 150885035752.jpg - (115.06KB , 420x420 , beat.jpg )

"Hoh, it seems that a couple detectives seem to enjoy having me clamber into a cramped dumbwaiter. Tell me honestly, do you see this dress being able to compress that much, hmm? Kyahahahahaha!"

"The killer did not escape the servants' quarters by using the dumbwaiter shaft."
>> No. 21020 edit
File 148943033081.png - (104.39KB , 415x480 , bu3_majimea3s.png )
Been a few days, and my memory of the game's gotten a bit fuzzy, but how about this... since you didn't deny the blue about the plaster being already off:

The killer had murdered Kanon by drawing his attention through the hole in the plaster. This might've been achieved by the killer simply speaking to Kanon through the dumwaiter passage or by imitating a scream which later blended it with Rosa's. As Kanon peeked in, he was crushed by the dumbwaiter rushing down. After all, the thing must've been old, so chances are it could've moved faster than it used to, with its lack of maintenance. Kyrie and Krauss, later, when examining the VIP room called the dumbwaiter back up, went down, and, upon seeing Kanon's body, assumed they'd crushed him, so they tampered with the scene, putting his head under the couch.
>> No. 21023 edit

Beatrice was deep in thought for a while, but finally broke into a grin.

"Good, detective, good! You almost took a big bite out of me with that one, but this should take care of that! Kanon's corpse was not moved! Before you debate this point too, A culprit is the person who kills. Even if someone else had inflicted a fatal wound to Kanon, if Krauss or Kyrie killed him thinking he was already dead, they'd be the culprits instead."
>> No. 21033 edit
File 135343152050.png - (96.60KB , 415x480 , avbb1.png )
The killer got into the servants' room through the dumbwaiter, killed Kanon, and then left through the door, which he was able to unlock with the key they got off of Kanon.

The key might've been left in the keyhole, and then flew out when the door was busted open. That, or perhaps either Kyrie or Krauss had intentionally hidden the key away from the other to help the culprit create the illusion of the locked room.

>> No. 21036 edit

Beatrice smiled ruefully.

"I was hoping to keep this ambiguous a while longer, but it seems it's not meant to be."

Her grin grew determined. "The culprit did not enter the servants' quarters via the dumbwaiter!"
>> No. 21053 edit
File 150736714833.png - (158.78KB , 300x243 , rubus_transp_small_.png )
I'm a bit fuzzy on the details by now as well, hope I'm not making some glaring mistake.


Between 10:25 and 10:45, while Battler was unconscious, the culprit entered the servants' quarters by door (which was unlocked), killed Kanon, placed his boiler room key near the door, exited by door or window. He left the door unlocked, since it had been that way before.

Later, Shannon and her group approach the door. "the door was opened and Shannon received the key to the boiler room before the door slammed shut again." suggests Shannon never saw Kanon alive while retrieving the boiler room key! Shannon opened the door, picked up the key, and it was either Shannon or the door mechanism itself that slammed the door shut.

The door to the servants' quarters was locked immediately after Shannon received the boiler room key, because Shannon locked it.

Last edited at 17/10/25(Wed)17:25:19
>> No. 21055 edit
File 150898981010.png - (207.62KB , 587x600 , bea_a11_akuwarai2.png )

"So the assault on the servants' quarters continues? Very well, I shall protect it for all time! However, you make a note that I feel, for fair play, must be addressed."

"Battler was not unconscious for 20 minutes. The times listed are the start times of the scenes, but time progresses throughout the scenes. So all the talk and action in the study continues from 10:25 to sometime before 10:45. In actuality, Battler was only senseless for a short time."

"Now then, as for the actual theory you have proposed, I must say it was one I anticipated. So, have my prepared red! Shannon was actively handed the key to the boiler room, and then the door to the servants' quarters was locked from the inside immediately after!"

She grinned wickedly. "Do you dare pursue the obvious next step? I assure you, there is no joy down it..."
>> No. 21093 edit
File 150916698766.png - (10.99KB , 228x258 , Dragon Fail 2.png )
I was a bit embarrassed to come back, because, yes, my idea was pretty dumb, but I feel like I have to speak because I'm thinking Beatrice might have a point here; we are very focused on Kanon's death specifically. It might be good to move to other events for now and come back to Kanon later. I feel like we've been purposefully pointed towards a very difficult situation to suss out in order to distract us from weaker areas.

We might want to work on other deaths, and other clues as well. For example, the bloody gold bar was hidden very poorly, at least in my view; it was right next to the room where someone got their head busted in, and considering Krauss is the only one with the key, that looks pretty suspicious on his part. But, is that the point of why it was the way it was? To make it seem like Krauss did it? I'm not sure, and I don't really have a blue truth for it. I know Krauss didn't lock the gold bar door, but I don't know if it was intentional or not, or anything.

Also also... I forgot google docs exist. And didn't know about google sheets. So, link to excel down below, somewhat more readable than the picture!

>> No. 21129 edit
File 151110910036.png - (1.30MB , 1280x720 , breakdown.png )
Alright, witch. Here is the theory I have made from this mystery of yours and the reds obtained by all my comrades before me. May you enjoy it.

When they got dismissed of the parlor by Kinzo, everyone have dispersed, leaving enough room for the culprit to do their business. The first thing they did once alone is to go in Kinzo’s study. The door would be locked but it’s no problem for the culprit as they have Kinzo’s key. To be precise on this point, every members of the Ushiromiya family has been stolen an object during the dinner by Maria (except Maria, of course) and the say objects have been replaced by an object of similar template. Kinzo wasn’t an exception, and he received a gold-colored pen with a small red scorpion designs on it. Given that when Maria’s corpse has been found, there wasn’t any supplementary object that the ones stolen to the Ushiromiya present at the moment, it’s likely to imagine that Maria has been relieved of it earlier in the evening, by the culprit for instance who noticed her while she was exercising her “talent” during the dinner. In any case, the culprit obtained from Maria a goldy pen-like object belonging to Kinzo and it wouldn’t be far fetched to imagine that the object in question was the study’s key.
Now, back in Kinzo’s study,the culprit realized Kinzo’s plan for the night as the instructions for it were in evidence on his office (after all there was no need to hide them since the only person who could enter the room were Genji and Kinzo himself). This knowledge is the culprit’s strongest weapon as they will be able to create their plan over the plot prepared by Kinzo.
To claim the inheritance, the culprit had to kill Kinzo, recuperate the ring and above all else, not being indicted. Thanks to Kinzo’s plan, they figured that the elder of the family would be playing the dead in the parlor and after that he would go to his study using the secret passage between the parlor and the study, so the culprit would need two things: A decoy and an access to Kinzo’s study without the study's key.
The culprit took a stake from the room, which would be quite useful to draw everyone in Kinzo’s study later on, they went to the servants’ quarters where they recuperated trash bags (to avoid to receive blood on themselves while committing the murders) and flypaper.
After that they went to the kitchen to kill Godha from behind with the stake. Even if Godha saw the culprit approaching, he was enough at ease with this person to not suspect anything. Then the culprit has hidden Godha’s corpse in the refrigerator. Also, all this happen before the scene where Battler ask for tea to Shannon and Genji, when the narration mention Gohda being in the kitchen, it will refer to his corpse.
Back on the second floor to make ineffective the auto-lock of the study’s door via a mean X, which might require flypaper. By chance they eavesdrop the conversation in the gold bar room between Krauss and Natsuhi and decide that while they are at it, they could use this gold bar at their advantage and make ineffective the manual lock of the gold bar room’s door as well. That’s why even if Krauss turned the key in the lock, the door didn’t locked properly.

Once all set up, they just had to enable the gear. The discovery of Kinzo’s “corpse” is the beginning. Of course,when Genji checked on Kinzo, he would find the study’s key, but that’s because the culprit already returned it.
The ring’s disappearance shall be explained later, and about the broken window, Kinzo most likely shot it to give the impression he has been attacked by someone or something.

Of course during the general body check nothing suspicious like extra large black trash bags would be found on the culprit, they might have disposed of them in the gold bar room or even by a window if not needed anymore, even though I think the trash bags might be necessary for Kinzo’s “second” murder.
After that, everyone would search for the person absent, Godha, and as they couldn’t find him in the kitchen, they splitted.
Gohda’s corpse discovery turned to be the best decoy the culprit could have wished for as it gives them a frame of time in which they can run at the second floor, recuperate the gold bar as well as the trash bags for the eventual blood splinters, and enter the study to kill Kinzo, who was most likely taking a shower. Among the small details, the culprit put the bloody gold bar in evidence, disposed of Kinzo’s plan in the fireplace so no one could understand what’s going on, threw the trash bag by the window and enabled anew the locking capacity of both the study and the gold bar room. The culprit then joined again a group like nothing happened.

As planned by the culprit, the stake received the desired effect and everyone decided to check out Kinzo’s study. During this transition part, Kinzo’s plan is still ongoing and Kanon display his best acting. He seems quite shaken though when Genji tell him that there has been two murders. The emphasis he put on the “two” might be because only one “murder” was planned for the time he should make his entrance, namely Kinzo’s one. But for the moment, Gohda being the only odd, the show must go on.

Later on, Genji will say that Kanon locked himself in the servants’ quarters for his own safety, but that’s actually just one more act of Kinzo’s plan. Indeed, Shannon going to search for the boiler room key in the servants’ quarters is unnecessary from a logistical point of view, given that she possesses a master key and later on in the story Genji will open the boiler room with his master key. The real reasons behind this act were to have witnesses of Kanon being alive in the servants’ quarters at this moment (otherwise Genji would have been suspected), being virtually unapproachable unless you possess the secret signal, and in sum, create another false closed room murder.

There is two ways to go on Kanon’s murder, but either way, I believe he willingly opened the door to his murderer. The culprit profited a moment when nobody was around checking other parts of the house to talk with Kanon through the door. Maybe they said that they knew about the plan and they had a message from another person involved, anyway, Kanon wasn’t particularly wary as he couldn’t imagine an instant the person he was talking to had murderous intents.
Now the first possibility is that the culprit never entered the servants’ quarters to kill Kanon, in this case, the culprit gave to Kanon something to eat or drink which was obviously poisoned (pest control supplies), Kanon closed the door by himself, put the key on the table by the door then he died few moment later. In this case it’s Krauss and Kyrie who messed up with Kanon’s corpse for some reasons. That would explain the use of the fantasy label for this scene when they enter the servants’ quarters by the dumbwaiter.
The other possibility is that the culprit entered the room and carried the murder with their own hands. They just would have to take with them Kanon’s master key, and while everyone was looking at Kanon’s corpse during the discovery, they dropped the master key on the table.

On the matter of the door’s lock when they try to unlock it, either way the culprit put something in the lock to make the key jam,or Shannon gave purposely the boiler room key to Battler and lied when she confirmed that it was indeed a master key, which would be another part of Kinzo’s plan to make the bystanders think that the door wasn't unlockable with a master key.

After that, Nanjo will be isolated in Jessica’s room and soon will begin the final act. Shannon, Nanjo and Maria’s deaths. Though, to understand why the culprit went on rampage this time, it’s needed to return to the matter of Kinzo’s plan and his ring’s disappearance. If Kinzo gave the impression that he left a chance for anyone to kill him, it wasn’t quite the case, as he prepared his false death and with the help of Nanjo and the other servants, he should have easily been out of range until midnight.
If his plan had gone as planned and he was still alive, Maria’s intervention a quarter of an hour before midnight would have been the culmination. She has been asked by Kinzo himself to brought his ring at this hour. A tierce person from outside the mansion would explain the disappearance of the ring, without opening the parlor door nor using the hidden passage.
I can imagine everyone gathering to question Maria, Kinzo making his coming out, taking the ring from Maria and saying something like: “The only one able to kill Kinzo is Kinzo himself! Thus I shall be the one to inherit my fortune, no money for poor people! Mwhahahahaha!!”... I wouldn’t put it past Kinzo...
Anyway, the culprit knew that Maria was coming and they had to immobilize the others people in the house the time to recuperate the ring, which explain the blackout. Of course, the whole mansion would be in the dark, but the culprit had the spelunking equipments brought by George and Battler at this effect. First thing, they knocked out Shannon then brought her body in the parlor. From this point, they had a master key. They cut the electricity and closed the basement door. They rushed upstair making sure that no one was in the hallway. Also, of the rooms they planned to visit, one was a locked room and the other has been already inspected by Krauss and Kyrie thoroughly as Kanon’s part learnt us.
From the window of the junk’s room, they throw an end of the yellow rope hanging, returned to the parlor and recuperate the rope’s end by the broken window. Then they wrapped the rope around Shannon's neck, went back in the junk’s room to pull up Shannon from the parlor.She probably died at this moment if the culprit didn’t strangled her to death when they knocked her off. That would account for the state of Shannon’s neck and the wet rope, as the weather was rainy outside.
Once done there, the culprit closed the window and locked the door, then went to pay a visit to Nanjo with a hat stand they found in the junk’s room. They sneaked in the room, thanks to the master key and killed Nanjo with a good hit on the head. They locked the room on their way out and returned downstair waiting for Maria. When she rang at the door, the culprit opened then killed her with the gun (which had two bullet remaining). They took the ring that Maria had brought with her, threw the gun beside her and locked the room before to return where they were supposed to be.
When the lights went on, everyone would come to the first floor as the only person who would be able to open to George, Rosa and Rudolph locked in the basement was Genji (and the culprit, but well). Once they got out of there, the culprit took advantage of George hasty behavior to find Shannon, so they guided him as fast as possible, in such manner than when the junk room’s door was open, there would be the less number of witnesses possible. Before the adults catch up with the cousins, and while those last were shaken by the view of Shannon’s corpse, the culprit put the master key they kept on them on the lock inside, to give the impression of closed room.

And, that's it. feel free to give us a lot of red to put my blue truths to shred. Also I won't name the culprit I have in mind yet since I know a lot of my blues will be strike down. So just wait for it.
>> No. 21130 edit
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Beatrice hung her head silently for a moment after this onslaught of blue was spoken. Then, she slowly began to clap. Lifting her head, she smiled.

"Bravo, detective. That was truly wonderful. A marvelous piece of reasoning supported by excellent focus on details."

She paused, then grinned wickedly. "It is, of course, wrong! Kiyaahahahahaha! Here's some red for you!"

"Kinzo possessed his key to the study for the entire time he was alive.

The door to Kinzo's study always worked perfectly.

Kanon did not die from poison.

Maria never possessed Kinzo's ring.

If Shannon (alive or dead) had been outside,
she would have been wet. She was not. Only the rope was wet.

At the time the door of the junk room was being kicked open, the master key was on the inside of the junk room, in the keyhole.

She breathed out, and nodded. "There we go. I admit I have left most of your blue untouched, but to destroy it all so quickly would require far more red than I'm willing to give. I think I've poked sufficient holes."

She looked thoughtful for a moment, then nodded resolutely, as if deciding something. "Still, I must admit you have a fine eye for details. In recognition of such, I will confirm a few more things in red for you:

Maria did steal something from Kinzo.

The culprit took flypaper and trash bags.

She smirked. "Care for round 2?"
>> No. 21131 edit
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Alright so, out of the few reds you gave me, here’s what I make of them.

First thing,“Kinzo possessed his key to the study for the entire time he was alive.” coupled with the narration listing us the possessions on Kinzo’s body in the parlor when Genji is searching on him for any clue and picking up the study key lead us to the logical conclusion that Kinzo was dead back then.
If Kinzo was still alive, it would contradict the red. Then again, there is still the possibility that Genji didn’t picked “Kinzo study’s key”, but a spare which should also be a study’s key as later on during Gohda’s discovery the narration will confirm that Genji displays two study’s keys. Like it would require three keys whose one has never been mentioned in the story, except maybe the object stolen by Maria to Kinzo, but even if, that would mean Maria took the spare and Genji have to take Kinzo’s key on his body, thus we are back on the first conclusion.

Now if Kinzo was dead back in the parlor, nothing as neat as the body lifting up and going to the study’s bathroom all by itself is possible, which mean the culprit went out of their way to the parlor, carried Kinzo’s corpse to the study’s bathroom, then made a scene out of his corpse. For that to be doable, the culprit had to have an access to the parlor after the discovery of Kinzo’s body in there and an access to Kinzo’s study. I stand my ground regarding the goldbar room and the culprit going in Kinzo’s study thanks to the study key they put back on Kinzo before the discovery in the parlor.

For Kinzo’s study, the culprit didn’t closed the door the last time they went there before they brought the corpse, so the room never locked and it was easy to enter. They might have used paper fly to keep the door still, so the door would seems closed from afar but actually wasn’t (and anyway no one would went at the end of the corridor since there is only the Junk’s room and Kinzo’s study there).
Concerning the parlor, the culprit couldn’t pull the same trick as everyone was around when Genji locked the parlor’s door. Instead, when everyone rushed to the kitchen to search for Gohda, the culprit before following them, unlocked the parlor’s door with Gohda’s master key. The same key they used to enter the parlor to kill Kinzo and recuperate his study’s key. While we are at it, Gohda’s master key has been returned to him during his corpse’s discovery, in plain sight, before the culprit got to move Kinzo’s corpse.
The culprit lifted the corpse from the parlor to Kinzo’s study using the doors of the respective rooms, and they did this aware that everyone was gathered on the west side of the Mansion’s first floor. They prepared the scene, then went back to the group.

The culprit’s next move was meant to cover for their previous misdeed. The door of the parlor was still unlocked, and locking it would require a master key. The people with a master key would be Shannon, Genji, Kumasawa and Kanon. Of course, out of this four people, one is out of reach and two are always grouped with someone else, so the only possibility left is the isolated sheep which seems untouchable, Kanon.
Concerning his death, if no poison has been used, I stand my ground on my second hypothesis already mentioned, namely
the culprit talked to Kanon who willingly unlocked the door, then the culprit entered and killed him with their own hand. After that the culprit could have locked the parlor’s door with Kanon’s master key before to return the said key in the servants’ quarter during the body discovery.

Now I got two blues respectively for your two reds apropos of Shannon’s murder and her body’s discovery:
Shannon’s body was put head on in an extra large trash bag then lifted up by the neck through the windows. In those condition, the rope would be wet, but not Shannon.
If the key was on the inside of the Junk room when the door was kicked open, that just mean bystanders were fooled by the culprit because the door wasn’t even locked while being kicked open.

While it doesn't explain everything, I think I made amend for most of the blues you denied, thus I'm eagerly waiting for your next move.
>> No. 21133 edit
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Beatrice's eyes narrowed.

"Hmm, quite impressive theories. It seems that I may have been treating you too lightly, giving you those extra hints." She waved her hand imperiously. "No matter! It just means I'll have to be a little more...surgical...in my use of the red. Less a sword, more a scalpel."

She thought for a couple moments, disregarding the frantic waving from offstage, and then nodded. "This should take apart some of your key arguments:

Flypaper was not used to keep a door from properly closing or locking.

At the time Kinzo died, the door to his study was properly closed and locked.

From the time Gohda was killed to the time Genji took his master key from his corpse, Gohda's master key did not leave his side.

She rolled her shoulders like she was working out tension before a fistfight. "No reason to tackle all of your theories all at once, right? If there's any mystery you can't explain, I win. So keep it coming. I'll knock them all down until you're left kissing my toes."

She turned to look at the rest of the audience. "That goes for you all, too! If anyone thinks they have what it takes to bring me down, alone or in a group, speak up!"

I've been on vacation too long. I forgot how exhilarating this could be, she thought, reminding herself to thank Rudolf, assuming they didn't get sued.
>> No. 21134 edit
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The culprit saw Krauss and Natsuhi entering the gold bar room, the reason that the door did not end up properly locked was because the culprit tampered the door so he/she could see the gold bar, maybe with the trash bags.
Kinzo pretended to be dead and hid the ring in his study, he used a drug that suppressed his pulse to almost a halt to fool Nanjo and planned to go to his study but the Culprit, who went to the parlor's window to grab the key to Kinzo's study to see the paperwork, saw Kinzo using the secret passage, he/she planning to murder him went back to the gold bar room to use it as a murder weapon (to frame Krauss maybe), went to the parlor via the window, used the secret passage to enter Kinzo's study and killed him while he was preparing to take a bath.

I still have more theories but since I don't want to see them being denied right away I'll polish them before saying it so that I can get it right sometimes.
>> No. 21135 edit
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"Oh?" asked Beatrice, looking towards the newcomer. "Wouldn't Kinzo playing dead at the time of discovery in the parlor contradict the red from earlier?

Kinzo possessed his key to the study for the entire time he was alive.

After all, it was shown that Genji took the master key from Kinzo while Kinzo was apparently dead in the parlor. As you seem to be arguing that Kinzo survived past that moment, you have to show me a way around the red truth. What do you propose?"
>> No. 21136 edit
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Fine, if Godha’s master key is overruled, let’s try another way.
First, I’d like that you confirm in red how many master keys and keys to Kinzo’s study exist in the mystery. Regardless of this information which I hope you will grant me, I’ll help myself of this last blue given by Vianfour to try something new.

The culprit entered the parlor by the window. They applied flypaper on the glass of the window and broke it in such way that none a single glass shard would fall on the inside. With this overture in the window they opened the window and entered in the room. Kinzo was drugged at the time so he couldn’t do anything to fight back, and the culprit killed him. If I should take a guess, they might have asphyxiate him with a trash bag, given that such method wouldn’t leave any traces. Then the culprit shot outside with the gun which was still in the room, and put the gun in Kinzo’s hand to give the impression the break in the window was caused by a shot from Kinzo. Finally the culprit took Kinzo study’s key and escaped the room by the window without forgetting to close behind them.

To make things clear, according to this blue, Godha has most likely been killed after Kinzo since his master key wasn’t required to enter in the parlor, and the culprit could have been to Kinzo’s study (access to Kinzo’s plan and stake) before to kill Godha. The way the key is returned to Kinzo’s corpse is still the same than during my previous theories, so no real need to use the window for that.
>> No. 21137 edit
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Beatrice nodded. "In the interest of striking down 'endless key' theories, I shall tell you. There are only two keys to Kinzo's study in this game. There are five master keys. At the start of the game, Shannon, Kanon, Genji, Gohda, and Kumasawa all had one."

Then she paused as she considered the blue truth the detective had laid out. A slight sheen of sweat was visible on her brow, and her eyes flicked offstage. Rudolf was pacing, while Kyrie was looking at the floor and chuckling. Getting no help there, Beatrice remained silent a moment more, then stiffened her spine.

"Kinzo fired the rifle. Kinzo was not incapacitated by being drugged."

She sighed, then shook her head. "As for the part about the window...I acknowledge it. The culprit used fly paper to break a hole in the window without scattering glass inside. The culprit entered and exited the room through the window." She frowned. "It seems you've taken one of my bishops. Excellent move."
>> No. 21138 edit
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That’s good to be acknowledged on one point at last, but there goes some troubles with those reds… Although I will neglect those for the moment as I’d like to have some confirmations before to reason further.

First, are the study keys presented by Genji in the kitchen and described as such by the narration the “only two study keys”, namely Genji’s and Kinzo’s, or is it possible that as the corpse matter Ronove brought in umineko, one of the key presented is a “study key” without being “Kinzo’s study key”?

Secondly, is it possible to open Kinzo study’s door from the inside without having one of the two study keys?

And last one, about this red: “The ring was not hidden via secret passage , does that mean the ring hasn't been hidden in the secret passage? Or more widely that the secret passage has no role at all in the ring’s disappearance and thus, would the secret passage hasn't been a thing, the ring still would have been hidden the way it happened?
>> No. 21139 edit
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"Hmph. I'll play your game. I have no need to quibble on such wordplay in this game."

"Only a key to Kinzo's study may be called any variation of 'study key.' For the purposes of this game, that is the only study."

"The existence of the secret passage had no bearing at all on the hiding of the ring."

"The door to Kinzo's study could be unlocked and opened from the inside without a key, but once it was closed, it would always lock. In other words, it could not be made to be 'unlocked but closed.'"

She grinned mockingly. "Is that enough of a helping hand for you?"
>> No. 21140 edit
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Thank you for all those reds, it’ll help a lot.

So, thanks to this red:"Only a key to Kinzo's study may be called any variation of 'study key.' For the purposes of this game, that is the only study. " The only keys available for Kinzo’s study are Kinzo’s and Genji’s. From that, the moment Genji takes the key on Kinzo’s body in the parlor, there is only two possible outcomes:

The first one is that, he indeed took Kinzo’s key, but in this case and according to this other red: "Kinzo possessed his key to the study for the entire time he was alive ", Kinzo must be dead.

The other possibility would be that the key he recuperates on Kinzo’s body is actually his own key of the study he’d hide in the handkerchief he used to check on the body. In this case, Kinzo’s key of the study would still be on him.
Of course, Genji would have done that on purpose according to Kinzo’s plan, but that would suggest that Kinzo would need his key of the study, and only for a short amount of time, as Genji don’t break a sweat when he shows the two keys for Kinzo’s study during Gohda’s corpse discovery (which would also require an agreed place for Genji to recuperate Kinzo’s key since from Kinzo’s body discovery to Gohda’s body discovery, Genji is never alone and thus couldn’t possibly meet with Kinzo).
Being unable to see how the key would be of any use to Kinzo for this short amount of time, since he could access his study by the secret passage in the parlor and even exit his study without any key (The door to Kinzo's study could be unlocked and opened from the inside without a key). Even if we would suggest that, Kinzo’s intention was to kill Gohda in the kitchen (which would be hard in itself since Kinzo would need to go downstair and everyone was checking each other in front of the parlor’s door, thus in front of the staircase), he wouldn’t require the key for his study. If he wanted to leave the study and come back after the murder, he could have let the door open as all the others weren’t supposed to go upstair before Gohda’s corpse discovery.

From all that, I say it again, but this time with more weight.Kinzo was dead during the discovery in the parlor.

Now from this basis, we can look at what happened in the parlor before the discovery, and the way, the culprit moved Kinzo’s corpse from the parlor to the study.

About the first matter, there is the gunshot issue.
If The culprit used fly paper to break a hole in the window without scattering glass inside and Kinzo fired the rifle then, Kinzo isn’t the one responsible for the broken window. Which question where, when and why Kinzo shot with the gun. The first thing that come to mind is that he aimed at the culprit while they were breaking in by the open window, though that would imply that Kinzo missed the culprit, which should lead to a fight between Kinzo and the culprit. The problems with this sequencing of the event are the following: Kinzo had four more shots available if he missed the first one, furthermore as we could see later, the gun is functioning perfectly and a layman such as Shannon was able to shoot two bullets in a row. Conclusion, the gun wasn’t used on the culprit. But the gun wasn’t used in the room either or else, there would be a trace of it somewhere.
A weird thing to notice, Kinzo had on his body five bullets of the proper caliber for the riffle. For which purpose would Kinzo need a full cartridge when the gun is already full? To this problem I propose the following solution.
Kinzo didn’t plan to die from the very start, so of course, it would have been a blunder if someone took the gun and shot at him during the dinner. To avoid such a scenario to happen, during the dinner, the gun was charged with blank bullets. Like that, even if someone shot at him, this person would just be accused of tentative of murder and Kinzo would still be alive. Also, the five bullets on Kinzo’s body would be to replace the blank bullets for after, in the case someone would try out the gun later on.
When Kinzo was alone in the room, he had to prepare himself to play the dead body. At this effect, I suspect the object stolen by Maria to be of the first importance. Like it can’t be the key to Kinzo’s study, I’d rather think about a syringe containing a drug x which would have for purpose to makes Kinzo looks dead.
But instead of this syringe, Kinzo finds a pen, so he has to think about a method to look dead without this drug x. For this purpose he uses the gunshot. He substitutes all the blank bullets except the first to come as he couldn’t change them after, and my best guess is that he shots with the gun next to his eardrum which made him pass out and fall on the ground. Then come the murderer by the window, who has the chance to find an incapacitated Kinzo in front of them, and they kill him.

For the second matter, let’s review the different options to exit the parlor after it has been locked by Genji, and the options to enter Kinzo’s study.

Thanks to this red: "The killer never moved Kinzo's corpse through the secret passage" we know that this way is condemned, also, if the culprit entered through the parlor’s window, it’s most likely because they weren’t in the possession of any master key, and as we know thanks to a previous red, Gohda’s master key isn’t an option. Thus, it’s by the window that the culprit moved Kinzo’s corpse out of the parlor.
Now about Kinzo’s study, if we rule out the door option because Genji has the two only keys able to open the study, and it is unlikely that the culprit just left the door open before to return the key on Kinzo’s corpse during the first discovery as it would be way too obvious for someone passing in the hallway, this time again, the way to go is the window.
The culprit lifted Kinzo from the parlor’s window directly by the study’s window as Kinzo’s study is above the parlor.
To do so, while they still had the key for Kinzo’s study, the culprit prepared a rope hanging from the study’s window, which mean the device was actually in place during the first body discovery. Also, the culprit could have left by the study’s door, so nothing weird about the window being locked.
Aaaand, I'm done for now. What do you think of it, witch?
>> No. 21141 edit
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"I...I..." stammered the witch, breaking out in a sweat.

"I...acknowledge that Kinzo was dead during the discovery in the parlor. As for the whole scenario..."

She shook her head resolutely. "No. I refuse to do this in a piecemeal fashion. You think you have me cornered, detective? Then how about this? I'll give you some of my remaining reds. In return, you'll have to answer some certain questions for me before I'll acknowledge your all-encompassing yet feeble blue truth about what happened this night."

"Question 1: Kinzo was alone in the parlor when he died. He was not given a poison. How did the killer kill him?"

"Question 2: It's been established that Kinzo was dead at the time his body was discovered in the parlor and Kinzo possessed his study key the entire time he was alive. Furthermore, I'll confirm this for you! Gohda died by that stake before Kinzo died! That clashes with your theory about how the culprit got a stake for Gohda. How did the killer get the stake used to kill Gohda, if your timeline is correct?"

"Question 3: Kanon would only open the door to the servants' room to the aforementioned knock. How did the killer know it?"

"Question 4: The killer did not get into the room to kill Nanjo with a master key. How did they do it?"

She drew herself up to her full height and spoke loudly. "If these questions can be answered, only then will I permit you the chance to name someone other than I, the Golden and Endless Witch Beatrice, as the culprit."

Last edited at 18/01/10(Wed)11:43:31
>> No. 21142 edit
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I'm sorry, I keep asking questions or putting up possibilities that are pretty dumb, but I want to try at least!

The fact the study could be unlocked and opened from the inside made me wonder what other doors worked as such; I suspect that the Servant's Quarters door, when unaltered, worked the same way, but I'm not sure, but maybe it goes even further than that.

Jessica probably would have said something if this was the case, but perhaps even she didn't know about it. It's possible that Jessica's door unlocks and opens from the inside, and thus it's possible Nanjo himself let in his murderer.

Of course, if that doesn't work, than the other alternatives is Jessica's Key (which Jessica has and that's a lot of questions to answer) or the window (which considering Jessica's room is on the top floor, that's unlikely.)

By the way, I would like to make clear that unlike with the gold room, the text of the mystery section outright states that the door of Jessica's room was locked. Thus, when Jessica turned the key to lock Nanjo in, the door was definitely locked. It seems obvious to say, or possibly even counter-intuitive for solving the mystery, but it's important to make this information clear so we don't waste time running down paths that are just dead ends.
>> No. 21143 edit
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"Oh ho! Good to see you again. Very well, I'll grant you this. Jessica's room, once locked, could only be unlocked with a master key or Jessica's room key, no matter from the inside or outside. I'll also confirm that Jessica turning the key in the lock while everyone was watching indeed locked the door. That should wrap that up, yes?"
>> No. 21146 edit
I'm sorry for the silence again! I wanted to give room for the others to talk.

... and, I've been struggling with the game, myself. There have been a few things I've been thinking about. Since "The killer did not get into the room to kill Nanjo with a master key.", we can rule out the master key being used to get into Jessica's room. This also means that it was unlikely used to then get out of Jessica's room after, as if the killer had the Master Key to get out, they would have used it to get inside in the first place. To clarify,the killer did not have the Master Key at the time of Nanjo's murder. Now, that doesn't rule out that the murderer ever at any point had the key before for some reason losing possession of that key, or even gaining it afterwards, but that means it's unlikely for those who had access to the master keys to be the killer, as they would have just used that.

This also means that either the door was unlocked with Jessica's key, or another means not using Jessica's door was used, as "Jessica's room, once locked, could only be unlocked with a master key or Jessica's room key, no matter from the inside or outside" doesn't rule out the possibility of another entry that doesn't include the door to Jessica's room.

Ah, someone should make a chart of the locations of all the Master Keys... and it's not going to be me! I don't want to do charting again!

One finally thing is just a hint to those better at me at solving these sorts of things; Kinzo's situation is very strange to me. We have confirmed that Kinzo was very dead during the parlor discovery. Why was his body then moved and stripped of clothes before being bashed in the head. That's a lot of work to do to a dead body for no reason, and the reason can't be "he wasn't dead yet.". It still happened though, which means there must be a reason someone decided to do that. This is not something someone does incidentally; the person who did this needed to. It's even possible, for whatever reason, that it was not the killer who moved the body.

I have no idea what the reason might be for doing something like that, but there was surely a reason to move and "rekill" a dead man. Maybe it had to do with the intended plans for the night...?

Last edited at 18/02/03(Sat)21:07:23
>> No. 21147 edit
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Since my Octo friend is on Nanjo’s case, I’ll let them handle it, though if I may Lady, you should be less roundabout and more assertive in your reasoning. It is the way to go to draw in your mind which scenarios are good and which ones are unlikely, or even impossible, but once you are done with that you must test the veracity of those conclusions.
Master key being out of the way, you already said there were two other possibilities: Jessica’s key, which open some question lines, and the window, which is unlikely. Then go on. Try out the easiest way with questions such as “How can the culprit could obtain Jessica’s key?”, and if it comes to a dead end, try out the unlikely one.
If you take hold of your reason by the good end you shouldn’t have any problem.

Now, let see about those three other murders...
Kinzo’s really is a key one by how restricted it has become with your last red:
“Kinzo was alone in the parlor when he died. He was not given a poison.”, furthermore, the fact that Gohda died before Kinzo by a stake which was supposed to be in the study makes it really interesting.
I doubt that the culprit knew at the time how to use the secret passage in the parlor (otherwise they would have used it to move the corpse), Kinzo’s key was unusable ‘cause he theoretically had his key on him and finally I doubt the culprit had any occasion to take Genji’s study key. Basically my assumption is that, the culprit didn’t enter the study before Kinzo’s death. And if the culprit didn’t goes to the stake, it must have been the stake that went to the culprit...

So what if the X object stolen by Maria was Kinzo’s plan for the night? This way the culprit could have exchanged the gun charged with blank bullets by a gun charged with real bullets before the conference (or eventually just the bullets inside of the gun), and if Kinzo died alone in the parlor, it’s because he shot himself believing that the gun contained blank bullets.

Also, it is possible that the stake that killed Gohda wasn’t in Kinzo’s study purposely for Kinzo’s plan and the culprit has been able to put a hand on it thanks to that.

This way, when the culprit entered by the parlor’s window, they knew that Kinzo’s would have kicked the bucket, and in a gruesome way at that. So the culprit didn’t go in the parlor to kill Kinzo but to clean the mess (with the help of the cleaning supplies in the servant room) and recuperate the ring.

Would have been a normal situation, Nanjo surely would have picked at that on Kinzo’s body, but he wasn’t supposed to make a real autopsy as Kinzo wasn’t supposed to be dead, and the culprit made sure that it wouldn’t be noticeable. With this interpretation, the culprit didn’t messed Kinzo’s corpse with the golden bar for the only purpose to frame Krauss and make believe Kinzo was still alive during the discovery in the parlor. They bashed Kinzo’s head so no one could tell he has been shot.

Regarding Kanon’s case, if the culprit couldn’t eavesdrop while Genji gave the signal to Shannon or when Shannon used it herself, the only thing I can think of is that,the secret signal had to be known from all the people implicated in Kinzo's plan, thus it had to be prepared beforehand so not only Genji and Shannon should know, but also Nanjo and Kinzo himself. For what purpose? Maybe Kanon's fake death would require a second person for some reason, person who would have been Kinzo has he still should be alive but considered as dead, anyway, the secret signal would have been explained on the paper depicting Kinzo's plan.

Also, a bit out of the blue, I noticed something and wanted to come back on the problem of the unable locks. There is two cases in the mystery which seem to present locks mechanism that don’t work, namely the golden bar’s room which is still unlocked even if Krauss turns the key in the door on his way out, and the servants’ quarters which is impossible to unlock even if Shannon uses her master key. So I wondered… Would it be possible to disable any key effect on those doors by putting, I don’t know… for exemple... gum inside of the key hole? ‘Cause in this case, the culprit would use this trick both while Krauss and Natushi were in the golden bar’s room and after they locked the servants’ quarters with Kanon’s master key (whom they had already killed).
>> No. 21148 edit
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Thank you so much! This is my first time on a gameboard like this, so I have been quite sheepish.Thinking things through like this is still difficult for me, but with your help, I think I have an idea.

Though, I don't like the idea because it's still pretty messy (as well as personal reasons), but it's the most obvious conclusion.

After all, the easiest way to get the key to Jessica's room would be to be Jessica. It's zero steps; if Jessica was the one who killed Nanjo, they already had the key in their hands. They were even very close by when the murder possibly occurred, and only had one other person with them during that time (technically Krauss and Kyrie were there near the beginning, but did not stay very long), and one of them was busy searching. It's even possible that Jessica suggested splitting up by giving the excuse of clearing more ground, and took that time to kill Nanjo. We don't even have much in the way of information of what happened with them during that time, just that they "resumed checking the top floor guest rooms." Everyone else at least got a little bit of flavor text.

To be honest, I should have noticed this earlier, but I did not.

Jessica slipped away during the search of the top floor guest rooms, unlocked the door with her key, killed Nanjo, then left and re-locked the door.

Also, I hate to be the one to do this, since you were the one to encourage me, but the idea that Kinzo shot himself has some questions to solve. For a second there I thought it was impossible, but re-reading it makes it seem more likely. But I will ask what Beatrice would probably ask; how did the killer hide a hole from a rifle? Remember also that if Kinzo shot himself there would be a powder burn, which would have to be hidden as well.

I don't see any problems with your other possibilities, though! But we will have to wait for a reply from Beatrice.

(sorry for all the edits btw; stuff kept getting messed up. :( )

Last edited at 18/02/04(Sun)19:33:13
>> No. 21149 edit
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"Well well well, it looks like there is now an active alliance against me. I suppose I should be honored that it takes collaboration to bring me down. Come, then!"


Beatrice smirked. "Just because it will be fun to see you try to wrap your brain around this one, the culprit actually had access to a master key at the time of Nanjo's murder. "


"And as for you, your friend is right. Getting shot would be far too much to clean up in so short a time. So I'll give you this red: Kinzo was not shot. As for the stake, no stakes were removed from the study for Kinzo's plan. The culprit is the only one who removed a stake from the study during the course of the evening.

She winced, then. "Though you did get a few things right. The instructions for the secret knock were written in Kinzo's plan
and the lock of the gold bar room was jammed while Krauss and Natsuhi were inside. However, the door to the servants' room really was locked at a point after Kanon died and before Krauss and Kyrie entered.
If the door was tampered with, it was not the locking mechanism itself.

She paused, then sighed. "I suppose it would be graceful to cede the point as I have dodged around it several times now. As many blues have suggested, something was jammed in the keyholes to prevent the key from fitting properly."


Her eyes narrowed, and she gave a predatory grin. "I give you one warning, as it has been a while since the rules were stated. Only one attempt at naming the culprit per player will be allowed. You name Jessica as a culprit, then? You know how she could have performed all murders? Or, if you're not sure, I'll let you retract that blue."
>> No. 21150 edit
First of all I'm sorry but...


That makes things a LOT more confusing then... if the killer had the Master Key, why not use it? Some weird double bluff? Still, there had to be a reason why they didn't use the key, even if they had it...

Also, thank you for the warning. You're right, it was a while, and I had forgotten. I retract my accusation of Jessica at this time, as I am not sure. Especially with this new information. Argh, it might end up being me that keeps track of the location of all the Master Keys, but I'd really rather not. Though, even if it complicates how Nanjo was killed, it's still useful information. After all, if "the culprit actually had access to a master key at the time of Nanjo's murder", then the inverse is "those who did not have access to a master key at that time can't be the culprit."

I just... don't know which people that would be at the time.
>> No. 21151 edit
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Alright, let’s summarize all the informations we have on Kinzo’s murder.
Kinzo was alive when everyone left the parlor the first time, and dead when Battler, Genji and Shannon discovered his body. He was alone in the parlor when he died and he didn’t died from a poison effect, neither in a gory way for it would be impossible for the culprit to hide a deadly wound.
Also, the death cannot be a natural one such as a heart attack caused by illness, as specified by the following red:
All deaths in this were intentional.
Even if a suicide would works within the definition of “intentional”, we know that it was no plan of Kinzo to die (not realistically anyway...).
Finally we know that Kinzo shot one bullet from the riffle, and this bullet wasn’t the cause of the broken window, most likely because this shot was a blank bullet.

The perfect closed room. The culprit wasn’t in the room when Kinzo died, neither is there a possibility that they got Kinzo from outside of the room with a ranged weapon for the gory factor (and
Kinzo was not shot). Yet, the culprit knew that Kinzo would be dead when they went outside with their whole equipement to broke the parlor’s window properly.
Once out of the parlor with everyone, the culprit cannot do anything anymore on Kinzo or on the parlor. So the conclusion we can draw from that, is that the culprit did something before to leave this room. Though, that would mean the culprit knew that Kinzo would stay in the parlor alone beforehand.
This fact, coupled with the method I think the culprit used, will prove that they knew Kinzo’s plan before the gathering in the parlor.

Before the explanation to be sound, it is necessary to remind that “Gohda died by the stake before Kinzo died”, “no stakes were removed from the study for Kinzo's plan. The culprit is the only one who removed a stake from the study during the course of the evening” and “Kinzo possessed his study key the entire time he was alive”
From those reds I state that:
- The culprit had an access to Kinzo’s study before Gohda’s murder, thus before Kinzo’s murder, thus before the gathering in the parlor as the culprit's trick to kill Kinzo has been prepared before the said gathering.
- Kinzo’s key wasn’t used by the culprit to open the study.
- Once out of the study, the culprit knew Kinzo’s plan and began to put their own plan in motion.

Regarding the study matter, the two only options available are Genji’s key and the secret passage. I already explained that, would the secret passage been known by the culprit, they surely would have used it to move Kinzo’s corpse which has been refuted in red. So in default of another option, the culprit must have used Genji’s key to enter Kinzo’s study.

Anyway, before the gathering in the parlor, the culprit went to the kitchen to kill Gohda with a stake they took in Kinzo’s study, then they hid his big body in the refrigerator. In the kitchen, waiting to be brought with the service cart, the black box containing the riffle. The culprit tempered with this black box in such way that it will contain the deadly mechanism that will kill Kinzo.
About this deadly mechanism I cannot give its exact nature, though I can imagine something like an object with a certain electrical charge placed underneath the black velvet under the riffle. The said object would be joined with the riffle, and thus, would electrocute anyone who would touch the riffle.
It was a kind of a bet from the culprit because, if someone would have touch the gun during the gathering, their plan would have failed.
Luckily enough for them, nobody touched the gun before everyone left Kinzo alone in the parlor.
Also, I believe that the loud bang heard just after that everyone left the parlor, during Battler’s speech, wasn’t the thunder but Kinzo who took the gun and reflexively shot with it while he was receiving the electrical discharge (which might have surprised the culprit themselve as I don’t think pulling the trigger was necessary to receive the discharge). He died around this time certainly from a heart attack. Later on the culprit would come, broke the window in the specific way aforementioned, then removed the deadly device from the scene and took Kinzo’s ring.
>> No. 21152 edit
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Beatrice appeared to regain some of her composure. "Your logic seems sound. Yes, quite a solid base." She cackled. "So let's sweep it out from under you!"

"Kinzo did not die as a result of some sort of trap mechanism X!"

"The culprit did not use Genji's key to get into Kinzo's study!"

"And finally, since you seem to think you're closing in on a basic idea of how Kinzo died...Kinzo's cause of death was asphyxiation! How does all that strike your theories, detective?"
>> No. 21153 edit
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This is a really short one, because I have a small idea, based on a previous theory; Kinzo shot the gun next to himself to knock himself out. Then, while he was knocked out, someone came in and lodged something into his mouth before leaving the room to do something else. What they did doesn't matter, but the fact that while they left the room, Kinzo was still alive. While the killer was gone, that was when Kinzo died, asphyxiating. The killer later came back, removed what suffocated Kinzo, and then left.

After all, the red of "Kinzo was alone in the parlor when he died" doesn't remove the possibility of Kinzo not being alone before and after dying, just the moment of death.

Last edited at 18/02/09(Fri)20:14:58
>> No. 21154 edit
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"Oh, bravo!" The witch applauded. "That...actually gets around my red quite handily, doesn't it? Bravo indeed..."

She smirked. "However, I fear it is not to be. The killer did not place anything in Kinzo's mouth, and Kinzo did not knock himself out."
>> No. 21155 edit
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It was a nice battle, but every good things come to an end, and this game of yours isn't an exception to the rule, witch. So... here goes nothing.

During the dinner, Maria stole objects from the family members, including Kinzo. Later on, when everyone will recuperate their objects after Maria’s death, Kinzo’s object is nowhere to be found, which mean either way the culprit recuperated it when he killed Maria or earlier in the evening. For the sake of my argument we will retain the latter.
About the said object, despite the fact that I explained it must have the same template as the object used as a substitute (a golden pen), the study key and a stake from the study having been clearly refuted with the red, I’m left with the uneven but necessary idea that it could have been Kinzo’s plan papers for the night and that’s how the culprit got a grip on this event and the precious informations which will help him to commit the different murders.

Now let’s jump directly on Kinzo’s last stage. We know the parlor is a closed room thanks to plenty of reds concerning this very murder, and we also know that Kinzo died from asphyxiation. The tough part now is that poisons have been refuted in red… But anyway, the cause of Kinzo’s death was this glass of Brandy he ended in a single swallow. The reason is that the culprit put something in Kinzo’s glass when this last turned off the lights for the sake of his mise en scene. Of course, here no question of poison, but of oxycodine. A molecule that can be found in headache medicines, the like Nanjo will propose to Natsuhi during Gohda’s body discovery, and which, meddled with alcohol can cause respiratory depression resulting in asphyxiation.

But who could have put the medicine in Kinzo’s glass during this short amount of time the room was in the darkness? Given the layout of the room and the position of the different characters described in the mystery, the likely suspects would be Nanjo, Genji, who are at his side, and I guess Jessica and Battler who are a door away from him, while the remaining characters are all packed on the couches or too far away.
As I’d love to maintain the dramatical effect of the culprit name revelation for later, the soon to follow explanations will make so obvious who is the perpetrator, that I can’t indulge this fantasy of mine.
Without waiting any longer, the perpetrator of all the murder is Battler Ushiromiya. With that in mind we can proceed.

Given that Kinzo surely didn’t last long after taking the deadly cocktail, I will situate Gohda’s death before the gathering in the parlor.
We know that Gohda died before Kinzo and we also know that he died from a stake the culprit took himself in the study. The culprit didn’t used Genji’s key, neither could he have used Kinzo’s key to enter the study before Gohda’s death, so the last way is the secret passage.
The secret passage being unusable for the culprit from the moment Genji locked the parlor’s door to the moment Kinzo died, we can conclude that the culprit got into Kinzo’s study before the gathering. He could have concealed the stake and used it after the gathering, but I believe the loud shoot heard when everyone was in front of the parlor door just after the gathering, wasn’t the thunder as “suggested” by the narration, but Kinzo shooting with the gun, out of breath.

There is nothing new on Gohda’s murder in itself, as always, he wouldn’t be wary of Battler getting behind him until the very moment this last dealt him the fatal blow with the stake, then hid his body in the refrigerator.

Now between the gathering and Kinzo’s discovery in the parlor, our culprit didn’t lazed out. First he found an excuse to not stay with his cousins (The waters is the golden excuse). On his way out of Jessica’s room, he saw Natsuhi and Krauss entering the gold bar room and as he eavesdrops their conversation, think that it would be a good idea to frame Krauss, thus he tampered with the door so even if Krauss turns the key in the lock, this last won’t function correctly with the frame of the door. After that he went to the servants’ quarter where he will recuperate some things he will need very soon.
As he doesn’t have an access to the parlor by the “formal” ways, he’ll get outside and enter by the window by breaking a window glass. He did a clean job using fly paper as tape to not let a single glass shard get on the ground inside, so later the others will think the broken window is a result of Kinzo’s shot. Once in the parlor, he recuperated the ring on Kinzo’s corpse and interchanged the bullets in the gun with the ones on Kinzo
(see blank bullets theory).
Using the secret passage, he’ll prepare the stage to move Kinzo’s corpse from the parlor to the study. Incidentally, we will later see that the VIP room is above the parlor (while George is about to jump), and thanks to the plan of the mansion, we know that Kinzo’s study is also above the parlor. Battler let hang a rope from Kinzo’s study window, also he burnt the plans which won’t be of any help anymore for him (if he didn’t already did that the first time he got there).
He might profit of this moment to take the golden bar which is in the room next door and put it in the study, to save time later.
To finish on this long preparation, he’ll get Genji and Shannon with the tea pretext to actually be the one to “discover” Kinzo’s corpse
(I always thought that the main reason was to be able to put back Kinzo’s study key on him before Genji check, but with the necessity for the culprit to use the secret passage in this theory, it turned out that wasn’t needed).

Later, Battler will be the one to “discover” Gohda’s corpse, and he will be really prompt to go search for the other group when Genji ask for someone to do so. Battler will actually use this time to get into the parlor, tie Kinzo with the rope hanging from the study’s window, get into Kinzo’s study via the secret passage, pull Kinzo into the study, and prepare the whole mise en scene with Kinzo’s corpse in the bathtub.
Only then will he join the other group and fill them up with Gohda’s body discovery.

Kanon’s murder is nothing special, Battler’s group was supposed to cover the side of the house on which was the servants’ quarter, he knew the signal to get into it thanks to Kinzo’s plans, and was strong enough to carry the murder.
Battler will use Kanon’s master key to lock the room, and drop it later during the discovery. Putting something in the keyhole to jam any key which would try to unlock the door was a distraction.

An interesting thing to notice and remember though is Battler’s proximity with his cousins after Nanjo has been locked away in Jessica’s room.

Anyway, after that, everyone is anew put into groups and Battler will be alone in the parlor as Natsuhi will be locked in the secret passage.
He will profit of his freedom and kill Shannon, who’s alone just in front of the parlor, and also between him and the circuit box. He will turn off the electricity and lock the door of the basement with Shannon’s master key. The blackout isn’t a problem for Battler thanks to the spelunking equipments brought by George and himself.
Because it would have been too suspect for Shannon’s body to be found in front of the parlor when Battler was supposedly alone there, this last will use the same method he used to move Kinzo’s body, but this time the body is pulled to the VIP room and packed in an extra large trash bag so Shannon’s body wouldn’t be wet due to the rain.

During the process we have Maria’s episode, which can be explained as, she rang at the door, Battler opened with Shannon’s master key and shot her in the head before to lock the door again.

Once Maria and Shannon’s cases has been settled, Battler will take the hatstand in the VIP room and on his way out let Shannon’s master key inside the VIP room on the keyhole. To enter Jessica’s room he will simply use Jessica’s key which he obtained during the close huddle he had with his cousins before the groups separation.

When the light will be back on, of course Battler will get out of the parlor, but he isn’t done yet because he has to create the illusion of closed room for the VIP room, to do so he’ll use George hastiness to find Shannon, orders “right and circle around” knowing that George will go for the first guest room leaving the VIP room for himself, and then he will fake a locked door.
The best part (for Battler that is), is when Jessica got in his arms because of the shock caused by Shannon’s corpse, leaving him plenty of room to plent back the key on Jessica, like it never disappeared in the first place.
>> No. 21156 edit

There was silence in the theater as the witch examined all the blue truths that had just been given. Most of all, she examined the truth about who the culprit was. Finally, she turned towards the detective who had given them, and bowed her head.

"A graceful opponent knows when she is beaten. There are some minor flaws in your theories, but the thrust of them is true. You determined the workaround of a poison-that-is-not-poison, you realized that the item that Maria took from Kinzo was of vital importance, you realized how Jessica's room was breached, and you have presented theories on gathering the stake that I cannot easily refute without giving the whole game away. ..I cede this gameboard."

With that, the stage went dark for a moment, and then the lights came back up, revealing the scene that had been left on pause.



Genji continued as he stood, eyeing the clock. "In order to explain the events here, allow me to go through each murder one by one, starting with the first."

Eva nodded. "Father."

Genji shook his head. "Gohda."

"Gohda?!" shouted everyone in unison.

Genji nodded. "Between 8:30 and 8:40, unless I miss my guess. At that time Shannon and I were out of the kitchen, leaving only Gohda behind. At that time the killer got time alone, perhaps by requesting to use the restroom, or perhaps due to some time that someone else in their group needed time alone. At that time, they hurried down to the kitchen, stabbed Gohda in the back with the stake, and stuffed his body in the refrigerator."

"Who was it?" demanded Hideyoshi. "It must have been someone with a key to Kinzo's study, after all! Was it you, Genji?"

"Of course not, sir. If I was the killer, why would I reveal to you how I did it?"

That struck Hideyoshi silent, but Krauss continued. "There is the question of how they got the stake though, Genji."

Genji nodded. "That will become clear. However, continuing, the Master died at approximately 8:42 p.m."

"So he really was dead?" asked Battler. "But then why did someone clobber him with the gold bar, and how did they get the body to the study?"

Genji held up a hand to forestall questions. "Yes, he truly was dead, though I didn't know it at the time. It's true that he was planning to fake his death. Nanjo had given him an effervescent antacid tablet that he placed in his mouth to create the slight foam we saw. He actually offered the opened pack to you, Lady Natsuhi, after we discovered Gohda's body. I imagine he was too stunned to realize his mistake. Something else happened to the Master though, and I know it was at 8:42 because at that time there was some particularly loud thunder, so loud that I noted it. It wasn't just thunder, though. No! It was the Master firing the rifle in an attempt to draw our attention. It merely coincided with the thunder, most unfortunately."

"So how did the killer get into the parlor?" asked Eva.

"At that time, they probably weren't even in there. Rather, they were hanging in space outside the window," Genji replied.

"It's a witch?!" cried out Rosa. Rudolf smacked the back of her head.

Genji blinked, then shook his head. "No. The culprit, having appropriated some flypaper and large trash bags from the servants' quarters, had gone up to the former VIP room, thrown on a harness that was there as part of the spelunking equipment that was there, covered themselves with a trash bag to prevent themselves from appearing soaked and rappelled out of the window. They attached the flypaper to the window so they could break a hole in it quietly and without allowing any glass inside. They then unlocked the window through the hole, climbed in, and took the Master's study key as well as the ring. Going back out the way they came and locking the window behind them, they took the equipment they used and hurried over to the Master's study from the former VIP room. They left it beside the window, and there they discovered the Master's plans for the evening. They likely couldn't give them more than a minute or two of reading, as they knew that surely someone would discover something soon, so they skimmed them and tossed them into the fire. They exited the study after hiding the ring, leaving the door slightly ajar, and rejoined those that they were supposedly with during that whole time, creating an alibi."

"So who did they join?" interrupted Jessica.

"In a moment. First, we must discuss the discovery of the first bodies. Shannon, Battler, and I were carrying tea up to your room when Battler suggested we check on the Master. He held the tray I was carrying while I opened the door, and we all discovered the Master together. I sent Shannon to go find Doctor Nanjo, and you all gathered here. Not long after I searched the body and discovered the study key, so the killer must have replaced it by then."

"We were all there at that point, except for..." said George.

"Kanon!" shouted Rudolf. "He did come in later saying he'd seen someone, maybe he was trying to cover his own tracks?"

"Kanon died though, while the murders continued," said Kyrie. "Unless there were a group and he was betrayed, I don't think it likely."

Genji nodded. "Kanon showing up when he did and claiming he saw someone was part of the plan to fake Kinzo's death. He was no killer." Jessica looked relieved as Genji continued. "No, I don't think it was Kanon. There was a time when no one was looking at the body, and that's when the killer placed the key back."

"When?" demanded George, but Genji instead continued his narrative.

"We all went to the kitchen to hunt for Gohda, and unfortunately found him dead."

Battler shuddered and rubbed his lips against his sleeve. "We remember, Genji."

"Yes, but at that time there were people that weren't with us. Shannon, Rudolf, George, Eva, and Rosa," he said.

"Ah ha!" exclaimed Hideyoshi. "So one of them must have been taking the time to move Kinzo's body!"

"No!" shouted Rosa. "We were all together until Battler came and got us, and we came to the kitchen straight away!" Eva nodded and Hideyoshi's attempt at taking over teh conversation failed.

"Besides, we were only separate for a minute or two at most. That wouldn't have been enough time to do much of anything, despite our culprit's remarkable athleticism. No, the killer left once all of us were gathered in the kitchen, looking at Gohda's body and talking amongst ourselves. It was a risk, hoping that no one would notice as they slipped away out the door, but it was one they had to take."

"Why?" asked Krauss. "Why would they go through all the trouble of moving Father's body?"

"Don't you remember?" asked Genji, sounding exasperated. "In the Master's plan, the murderer or murderers have to kill him in such a way as to not get caught. What better way to do that then make it so we don't even know where or how he died?"

Jessica nodded, then looked shocked. "Wait, murderers?"

Genji turned to her. "Yes. Recall, if there were murderers, the inheritance was to be split between them. I say to you that there is only one killer, but that is an important fact. Now then, what was the killer doing after he slipped away from us in the kitchen?
Obviously he was going to the Master's study!"

"Again?" muttered Natsuhi.

"Of course! We had locked the door to the parlor, and I had both keys. The killer had planned for this, but had a way in that we didn't know of! So, returning to the study, the killer quickly threw on their trash bag poncho, rappelled down out of the study window, entered the parlor-"

"Hold on!" said Kyrie. "How did they get in? Weren't the windows locked? The hole in the window is on the wrong side of the room from the study."

Genji nodded. "They likely unlocked the window under the study while we were all distracted. Perhaps when Lady Natsuhi was screaming from the possibly poisoned almonds that Battler pointed out?"

Kyrie thought, then shrugged and nodded.

Taking it as a sign to continue, Genji did so. "Where was I? Ah yes, the killer entered the parlor, quickly secured the Master to the rope, and climbed back up, pulling the Master up after. I think this is where they made their first true blunder. They hadn't thought about the fact that dragging a man up the wet outside of a house would leave noticeable marks on his clothes, and they hadn't prepared another trash bag. Thinking quickly, the killer ripped Kinzo's clothes off him, stuffed them in the bag they'd been using, weighted it down a little more with something nearby, tied it up, then tossed the lot out the window. Locking it, they hurried out to the nearby room, snagged the gold bar, bashed the Master's skull in in the bathroom, quickly threw on the water to disguise the residual wetness, and exited, letting the door lock behind them. Then they dumped the wet rope in the VIP room, hurried back down to the kitchen, and managed to make it back just in time to make it seem like they'd been there in the back all along."

"That...that's insane..." said Eva, in disbelief.

"So is murder," retorted Genji. "So, we all hurried towards the Master's study, but Kanon arrived then. He gave his planned line, but was shocked to find out that two people had been killed. I stayed behind to explain the situation to him, and told him, for his own safety, to hide in the servants' room, and to only let in those who knew the proper knock."

"A lot of good it did him!" shouted Jessica. "The killer still got in! How?"

Genji sighed. "The secret knock, of course."

"What?! Only you and Shannon knew that! There was no way any of us could have seen you teach it to her or her use it!"

"Kinzo's plans," interrupted Kyrie. "It was on there, wasn't it?"

Genji nodded. "I went with the one that was planned. I didn't know at the time that the plans had been noticed by the killer, or I would have tried something else. I joined you all in the study, and we examined the corpse and the room."

"We know that, Genji," said Rudolf, exasperated. "We were there."

"Yes, but one of you had an agenda. The killer wanted to make sure that all the right clues were found, and all the wrong ones were hidden. The killer also probably used this time to get the ring from its hiding place."

They all thought about who had been guiding the search then, but before they could get too far, Genji continued. "After that, we split up to search the house."

"Yes, but we did it in groups," said Krauss.

"We've already established that our killer is more than willing to slip away during a distraction, and I'm betting the killer did so here. Rushing to the servants' quarters once there was an opening, he used the secret knock from the plans. Kanon opened the door, and, surprised, was laid out flat by a punch by the killer. Kanon was not a tough lad by any means, so he was likely unconscious or at least senseless. The killer stepped in, made sure he was unconscious, then picked up the edge of the couch, pushed Kanon's head beneath it, and dropped it. Gravity did the rest, most likely. The killer then grabbed Kanon's master key, exited the room, and locked it behind them."

"But the master key didn't work when Shannon tried it!" exclaimed Battler.

"Ah yes," said Genji, knowingly. "Krauss discovered the secret to that when he came out of the dumbwaiter."

Krauss' eyes widened. "The needles! The killer must have taken some and jammed them inside the lock so that the key wouldn't fit any more!"

"Precisely," replied Genji. "When we all entered later, the killer secretly placed the master key down by the door to make it look like it had always been there."

"And so we investigated, but couldn't figure anything out," said Rudolf, "so we split up again."

"And then there were three more murders," concluded Genji.

"So who did it?!" shouted Kumasawa. "Who killed the Master and the others? And...and why? Little Maria..."

"Shannon was killed first. She was near the circuit breaker, so it was a necessity. I would guess a quick and clean broken neck immediately after she'd made her presence known, after which the culprit sabotaged the breaker, locked the door to the basement with Shannon's master key, and carried Shannon's body upstairs to the former VIP room, guided by a climbing light that they had picked up there. They hurriedly wrapped the rope tightly around her neck, grabbed the hat stand that was there, and exited. They went to Jessica's room next, unlocked the door, and likely killed Nanjo by bashing him in his sleep. Then the killer returned to the ground floor. They were done at that time, but were surprised when they heard the front door starting to unlock. They grabbed the first available weapon, the gun, from where it had been placed in the hall, and when Maria opened the door the killer placed the barrel against her face and pulled the trigger."

Rosa gasped. "Genji, must you say it like that?!" asked Hideyoshi.

Genji looked apologetic. "It must have been so. You see, the rifle was loaded with blanks."

"Blanks?" gasped Hideyoshi.

"Yes. The Master did not expect one of you to pull the trigger at the meeting, but just in case he wanted the gun filled with blanks. Now normally a blank cartridge cannot kill, but when a rifle blank is fired from a distance of centimeters, it can easily kill due to concussion and burn. That is how Maria died. Then the killer put the gun by her, grabbed the master key she brought, went inside, locked the front door, opened a window, tossed the key back out to where we found it beside her, shut the window, and returned to where they were supposed to be right as the lights came on."

"So who did it?!" asked everyone in unison.

Genji looked to the culprit. "It was you..."


Battler looked stunned, then laughed brokenly. "Useless. It's all useless. Me? C'mon, Genji, where's your proof? And besides, your theory is full of holes."

"What are they, Battler? I shall show you that I have figured out everything."

"You said 'something else' happened to Grandfather, but that's all you have to say that he was dead when we first found him! What kind of nutball would go through all that you described if he was already dead? If you're so smart, how did he die?"

"Almonds. More specifically, the fact that they were roasted."

"Huh?" asked Rudolf, echoing the sentiments of many in the room, and not noticing that Battler had gone a little pale.

"They were roasted almonds. Roasting almonds can often require oil. Oil much like what was with Gohda in the fridge. I had noticed it as odd at the time that oil fell out with him. After all, one does not keep oil in the refrigerator. However, I think he was about to realize what had happened when Battler killed him."

"And what had happened?" asked Kumasawa.

"Battler had switched out the olive oil that was supposed to be in the container with peanut oil."

Kumasawa's eyes widened. "The Master's peanut allergy!"

Genji nodded. "Indeed. Normally he would have been fine, though. After all, he had his EpiPen with him at all times. Tonight, though..."

"Maria..." whispered Rosa. "That's why we found that pen on his body. She took and replaced his EpiPen, probably not realizing what it was."

"Yes," said Genji, eyeing Battler. "I suspect Battler would have done it too, but she got to it first. He simply saw it. After all, Kumasawa had taught him how to pickpocket as well, so he knew what to look for."

"Th-that's ridiculous!" claimed Battler. "Alright, say that I somehow switched the oil before Gohda made the almonds. How did I kill him with the stake before we got into the study? That's where all the stakes were, right?"

"The secret passage!" shouted Eva.

"You really think I would know about the secret passage when people like Aunt Natsuhi who has been here for decades didn't know about it?" retorted Battler.

"Battler's right, there's no way he would know about the secret passage. In fact, I am certain he never used it the entirety of this evening. No, the secret passage and, indeed, the dumbwaiter shaft, played utterly no part in the murders."

"That's right," said Battler. "So how could I have gotten that stake?"

"The stake was never in the Master's study," replied Genji, calmly.


"It's simple, Battler. It's an eighth stake. It is likely one you came across when getting spelunking equipment, and you realized it looked a lot like the ones you'd seen at some point in the Master's study. After all, even I could not tell the stakes apart. I imagine the only ones who could would have been the Master and Maria. So you got the stake you brought yourself from the VIP room and stabbed Gohda with it. The true 7th stake remained undisturbed in the Master's study until you disposed of it. It would be the weight that you added to the trash bag of clothes, which I mentioned earlier."

Battler sputtered, then began to rage. "How could I have replaced Kinzo's key on his body? You were there, you saw me get down next to him!"

"It's true," replied Genji. "However, when I saw you kneeling down, the tray of tea I had given you was already down beside the Master's body. I remembered this when Doctor Nanjo kicked it accidentally later. Your hands were empty when you reached down. Clearly you had already squatted once and replaced the key."

"How could I get the gold bar?"

"Likely tampered with the lock as you went by. If Krauss had it open at some point after you went upstairs with Jessica and George, it would be easy enough for you to peek in in passing, learn about the gold bar, and jam the lock. I suspect if we were to look at the inside of the latchbolt hole we'd find a large wad of that gum you were incessantly chewing after dinner. Once we were searching the room, you made sure to find the remains of the plans to cast suspicion on others, made sure that the window was securely latched and that the trash bag could not be seen out in the dark, and made sure we knew that a stake was missing. You even helped us find the 'murder weapon.'"

Growling, his face contorting with anger, Battler snapped, "You said I killed Shannon, then Nanjo. The door to the VIP room was locked when we found it, and the key was in the lock on the inside. How'd I get out? And how'd I get into Nanjo's room?"

"The door to the VIP room was never locked. You acted like it was, then had George kick it open. You'd left the key in the lock. As for getting into Nanjo's room, you used Jessica's key."

"Mine?!" squeaked Jessica. "But I had it to open the room again!"

"You all huddled before we split up the final time," noted Genji. "Then he held you after Shannon's discovery. That's when he took and then put back the key."

Battler had fallen silent, glaring at Genji.

"So, to summarize the events of this case," began Genji, "it began with Battler switching out the olive oil for the roasted almonds with peanut oil. He was planning on stealing the Master's EpiPen, but Maria got to it first. That means he was planning to kill the Master even before the Master announced his plan. Once we all left the parlor, he split off from his cousins, likely on the hunt for tea, judging by what he told us. He witnessed a discussion in the gold bar room and jammed his gum in the lock. He went to the VIP room, got the stake, and killed Gohda while he was alone in the kitchen and realizing what he had done. Then Battler went back upstairs, likely hearing the Master's attempt at summoning help as he passed the parlor door. Battler rappelled down, broke the glass with the flypaper, unlocked the window, confirmed the Master's death, got the Master's study key and the ring, then escaped. He entered the study, hid the ring, found the plans, skimmed them, discovered the whole plot, then burned them. Leaving the study door slightly ajar, he went to the kitchen, met with Shannon and I, and we gathered tea."

Genji continued, "Next, we passed by the parlor and Battler got us to enter. While I was facing Shannon, he knelt, placed his tray aside, and replaced the key on the Master's body. Then he stood and knelt again for my benefit. He suggested the almonds were poisoned while Natsuhi was eating them to cause a distraction so he could unlock the window under the study. He came with us to the kitchen, 'discovered' Gohda's body to have an excuse to hang back and seem shaken, then slipped away once he'd gathered everyone. He hurried upstairs to the study, rappelled and gathered up the Master, tossed out the Master's clothes, the trash bag, and a stake to hide the evidence, bashed the Master with the nearby gold bar, put him in the tub, turned the water on, hid the rope in the VIP room, and rejoined us in the kitchen."

"In the study he guided the investigation, pointing out the remains of the plans, keeping people from spending a lot of time investigating the window, confirming the number of stakes, and 'finding' the gold bar. After we split up he found a convenient distraction, went to Kanon's room, used the secret knock, knocked out Kanon, then dropped the sofa on him. He took Kanon's master key, locked the door, and jammed the lock using pins from the supply closet. Once we got back inside, he stealthily set the key by the door to make it seem that it had always been there."

"Once Nanjo was locked in Jessica's room, he made an excuse to get close to her and pickpocketed her key. As Natsuhi got trapped in the secret passage, Battler went to Shannon at the top of the stairs, waited for her to call down, then snapped her neck. He sabotaged the circuit breaker, locked the door with Shannon's master key, turned on a utility lamp he'd gotten from the spelunking equipment, and carried Shannon upstairs. In the VIP room he looped the rope around her neck, still wet from the time spent rappelling outside, took her key and the hat stand, placed the key in the inside lock, and shut the door. He then went to Jessica's room, opened it with her key, and killed Nanjo with the hat stand, locking it again on the way out. When he returned downstairs he was surprised to hear the front door unlocking. Grabbing the gun he pointed it at the face of the intruder, Maria, and fired. He dumped the gun beside her body, took the key she'd used to unlock the door, relocked it from the inside, and tossed it out to beside her body through a window."

"After the lights came back on, we started searching for Shannon. Battler controlled George's search, and arranged to be the one to test out the door to the VIP room. Declaring it locked, even though it was not, Battler stood aside and let George kick through it. That was the last bit of manipulation that he needed."

Battler fumed, but then suddenly relaxed. "But, why would I do it, Genji? I mean, if it were just Grandfather, you could argue inheritance. But why would I kill everyone else?"

Genji allowed a small smile. "Like you said. The inheritance."

The others simply looked on in confusion, so Genji addressed them.

"Remember what I said: 'if there are multiple murderers, the inheritance would get split between them."

"But...Battler is the only killer?" said Eva, confused.

"Is he? Let's look at it from the most paranoid perspective. Who killed Kinzo? It could be Battler, who substituted the oil. However, it could be Gohda, who roasted the almonds. It could be Shannon, who delivered them. It could be Nanjo, who was not there to save him with his medicine. It could be Maria, who stole the medicine in the first place. Battler was eliminating anyone who could even possibly have a claim on the inheritance."

"And...and Kanon?" asked Jessica.

This time Battler spoke up. "It sure as hell sounded to me like he'd seen me, when he came in here shouting about seeing someone outside. To get the inheritance I needed to get away with it. So he had to die."

Jessica clenched her fists. "You...you bastard!"

Battler, however, seemed utterly disinterested in anyone besides Genji.

"Alright Genji, I admit it. You found me out before I could give this to you." He reached into his pocket and pulled out Kinzo's ring, which he gave to Genji. "I have to ask though, you said I made two mistakes, one that doomed the attempt, and one that made it pointless?"

Genji nodded as he took the ring solemnly. "The first was the EpiPen. It wasn't among Maria's things, and it's large and bright, so I'm guessing Kumasawa would have seen it. I doubt you had much time to stash it before the lights came back on. So a search of your person should reveal it."

Battler chuckled as everyone looked on in shock. His hand withdrew from his pocket holding the EpiPen. "You're amazing Genji. What was the second thing, the one that makes it pointless?"

Genji sighed and poured himself another glass of brandy. "Was I right to assume you could only skim the Master's papers?"

Battler shrugged as the clock began to chime midnight. "Yeah definitely. Why?"

"Did you see the back of the pages?"


"That's where the directions to disarm the bomb were."

"...what bo-"


The witch was once more standing alone on the stage. "I do hope that you enjoyed Twine Ball of the Golden Witch. If there is anything left unanswered in your mind, I will answer it now."

Last edited at 18/02/28(Wed)00:56:46
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