Part 1: Prologue
Good morning. Please enjoy this game, with its new Game Master.
However, this game has already reached its climax. The culprit has been cornered, and it's only a matter of time before the end. You should be able to use this clearer perspective to spot something.
The difficulty is fairly easy. What could possibly fool you now?
The color of the glittering flower petals on the rose bushes was... that of gold. The group of gold butterflies which had once danced through this golden rose garden like fluttering rose petals... could no longer be seen anywhere...
She could be called inhumane and cruel. Arrogant and outrageous. And also, naive and simple. That laugh of hers, which lost its grace more and more the longer it continued, could no longer be heard.
The Golden Witch Beatrice... sat like a doll, resting in a deck chair adorned as beautifully as the golden rose garden. She wasn't relaxing there. Her eyes were empty. She didn't respond to any questions. Even so, she was not permitted to sleep. Beatrice sat like a doll...
If she had been complaining about this and that regarding her hairstyle, then it would have been clear that she was the usual Beato. However, she made no response, and showed no reaction. So instead, it only looked like Virgilia was combing the golden hair of a large doll...
Alongside them, there was a table.
However, something about this setup looked different from normal chess. It might have been a game similar to chess but not identical.
...No, perhaps he wasn't thinking of his next move. Every once in a while, he would change the positions of the pieces, reconsidering the situation each time he changed it. Maybe he was reconstructing previous arrangements, trying to discover the thought process behind those moves. In the past... Kinzo, the Ushiromiya family head, once likened learning chessboard arrangements to taking a journey through the thoughts of the old masters.
Ushiromiya Battler... was on a journey. A journey in search of the Golden Witch's thought process... which had led her to create this arrangement and make these moves. Battler took a black piece which should have been moved forward... and returned it to its original place, sighing deeply. Battler's pieces were white. However, on that chessboard, Battler's side was the black encampment. He was reconstructing that arrangement, trying to play Beato's side...
Even Battler... didn't expect that Beato would respond to that statement. No, thinking that there might still be a chance of her responding, he had spoken that as though talking to himself.
After begging him to kill her, the Golden Witch had become a corpse which had given up on living. She wasn't sleeping. She could not step down from this game and was therefore forbidden sleep. So she must have heard. However, the words probably hadn't reached her heart. Right now, the Golden Witch would not sneer at Battler's moves, nor would she praise them or belittle them. Beatrice was no longer... anything more than a living doll.
Even so, she would glance at him every once in a while. It would be an empty glance, but a glance nonetheless. Sometimes, she would seem to make some sort of gesture or even move her lips. However, her movements were never able to communicate anything to Battler...
"...Beato. Battler-kun is talking to you..."
"...Say something. Try giggling or guffawing. I don't even care if you use that shrill laugh of yours."
...Can it be believed...? That shrill laugh of Beato's... will never be heard again. However, even if she couldn't answer, his voice surely reached her. Battler had spoken because he believed this. So he said the same thing one more time...
"How did you decide on this move in this situation? I don't get it at all. I don't understand your moves."
"...So, you don't understand what this child is thinking?"
Virgilia answered in her disciple's stead. Up to this point, she had done her best to avoid speaking for Beato. After all, there was a chance that Beato would respond in some way, and Virgilia didn't want to be the one to steal that chance away. So, Battler would have to bear with this silence... until Beato herself answered.
Virgilia could no longer bear to watch Battler like this... Furthermore, Battler wanted to have a conversation with Virgilia. They believed that this would reach Beato's heart...
"Yep. I don't have a clue. The more I try standing in Beato's shoes and moving the pieces like this, the less I understand."
In past arrangements, I could see several incomprehensible moves that clearly conflicted with that victory condition...
"...I don't get it at all. This journey through her thinking process is just too rugged."
"Even so, you won't give up, will you."
"Yeah. I promised."
"I promised to let her die peacefully. And I'm the only one who can do that."
...Beato's right ankle was bound with a heavy, cold, steel shackle. It wasn't tied to anything, so it didn't restrict her movement. However, it symbolized restriction. It was a visualization of the restriction that prevented her from leaving the game without either victory or loss...
And, the shackle was probably... hurting her. The mercilessly cold shackle tormented her over and over inside her waking dream.
So no relief appeared in her empty expression. Her eyelids would sometimes tremble like she was having a bad dream, and every once in a while, she would let out a pained gasp.
Unless I win, Beato will never be released from the curse that prevents her from sleeping peacefully...
"...Are you not in a hurry? It seems that the 5th game has already started."
"...I'm not interested."
Why should I take part in any game without Beato as an opponent...? If that's the only alternative, then reconstructing previous arrangements while taking a journey in search of Beato's thought process is a much better use of my time...
"...I have tons of them. Beato conceded the fight and is unconscious. Isn't this loss by default and 'game over' for her...?"
"I'll admit that a lot's happened to Beato, and it feels like she's been knocked out right now."
"But that doesn't mean she's lost the will to fight. That's why I'm acting as her assistant. Get it?"
Beato was lying down on the deck chair, almost as though she was sleeping. However, she wasn't sleeping, and she wasn't awake either. She was nothing more than a living doll that had given up on victory, who had asked Battler to perform her last rites, and who had surrendered everything...
Of course, if everyone just sat around, the next game... the 5th game would not be prepared. So, Lambdadelta had succeeded Beato as the next Game Master and proclaimed that she would prepare the next game.
"No one asked your opinion."
"What'll you do, Bern? Accept it? Or not?"
"...Sure. Go and succeed her position."
"What the hell... quit messing around. I don't know who you two are, but I'm not gonna let you ignore Beato and me and just carry on by yourselves!"
"Calm down. Of course, when the player changes, then so will the moves."
"There might be a lot of things that are confusing to you, but even those might become some big hints, get it?"
"Who cares?!! Quit saying whatever you want and deciding everything on your own!!"
"...Beato's game has repeated four times, and you still don't understand anything, right? In that case, I think that changing the player might lead to some huge hints."
"That's none of your business! This is our game! Beato prepared it, and she designated me to be her opponent in it. I don't know what hole you two crept out of, but I don't want you screwing things up!"
"...In that case, wake Beato up and make her get the next game ready. Can you...?"
"B, Beato won't be getting up for a while. But there's no need for a new game. Just the four games that she has already laid out are more than enough! Even if there is to be a 5th game, it just needs to be something that Beato lays out and I challenge. You two have absolutely nothing to do with this!"
It looked like these witches were of an even higher rank than Beato, so high, in fact, that even Beato's teacher Virgilia couldn't even come close. Battler had the feeling that he'd seen these two several times before. However, this was the first time he had known their names and spoken to them directly.
"You can't get the next game ready without waking Beato. That's why I'll prepare the next game!"
"We aren't so patient that we're willing to wait however long we have to for Beato to regain consciousness. Right, Bern?"
"...I don't like boredom. It really ticks me off."
"We really don't care whether you get bored or not."
"Come on now. Leave everything to this <perfect> Lambdadelta-sama, okay? I'll take over as the Game Master."
"DON'T WORRY, I won't play with too much 'certain perfection'. Just like Beato, I'll prepare plenty of incomprehensible fakes, clues, and bonus hints. I'll give you some big hints to help you understand Beato's world even more, okay?"
Letting my voiceless emotions explode, I slammed the table hard. The two witches didn't flinch at all. One grinned. The other looked indifferent, as though nothing had happened. The two of them just stared at me silently. As though they were reproaching me.
"What's this? Not satisfied? Are you saying you'll step down from my 5th game? Isn't that loss by default?"
"...Battler won't step down. Of course he'll participate in the 5th game."
"Don't just decide that yourself!! I'm not gonna play along with you two. I don't give a shit!"
"Hmmm... Then it really is loss by default, right...? The witch side wins this game. Is it really alright to end this with the humans surrendering...?"
When Bernkastel mentioned Ange, Battler's expression changed instantly.
"Y, you bastard, don't talk about Ange so casually..."
"...Because you have me, the Witch of Miracles Bernkastel, as your ally, there exists the possibility of a miracle in which Ange's family might come home to her. Well, even if you throw that chance away yourself and guarantee that Ange's endless futures will all end in sorrow, that might be pretty interesting too."
I vaguely understood what she was saying. Until I win in Beato's game, I'll remain trapped in this bizarre world. And if I abandon that victory, then most certainly, my parents and I will never return to Ange. For Ange's sake, even though I know that the witches are toying with me, I must keep on fighting...
"Nn, d, damn..."
"...What's wrong? You look unsatisfied. Did you already forget the anger you felt when your sister was turned into mincemeat...? That spectacle where she was torn to bits, ripped to pieces by countless red-hot pliers. Make sure you watch closely this time, okay...?"
Bernkastel pointed the palm of her right hand upwards. As she did, a pale light gathered there, and some kind of blue-glowing crystal appeared there. A scene was reflected on its sharp surface, but it wasn't the scene that surrounded them now. If you looked deep into that crystal, that Fragment, then you would probably learn what was reflected on there.
"D, damn... you..."
Without thinking, he grabbed at her collar, but as soon as he touched that which made up her form, it disappeared like foam on the waves. And then, as naturally as though she had been there from the beginning, Bernkastel was leaning against a distant wall.
Battler's fists shook with anger, but even if he swung them down, he wouldn't be able to hit Bernkastel. This witch wouldn't even let someone pet her if she didn't wish for it, like a cat or a phantom. And, she was telling the truth. For Ange's sake, I can't step down from this fight. Even if these unpleasant witches hijack the game board.
"Ehheheheheh. That's just like you, Be~rn. You're even heartless when you threaten people."
"...That's how it is, Battleer. You aren't allowed to step down from the game board. You and Beato are nothing more than pieces on the game board that exist to distract us from our boredom. Even your incomprehensible anger and irritation make for a wonderful treat to sate our boredom."
"Well, this level of anger only makes for a cheap snack."
"...Like those curry-flavored potato wafers that sell at 30 yen for a pair."
"Y, you damn... witches..."
"...*giggle*. Fight for Ange's sake, okay? And for Beato's too, right...?"
In a way that was admonishing, or perhaps babying, and similar to the way something too sweet sometimes gives you a headache, Bernkastel tormented Battler and smiled. At this point in time, the host of this tea party, Beato, was absent. The guest witches were already making themselves at home.
"...What'll you do, Ushiromiya Battleer? Will you surrender to fate...?"
"Just step down. You've had enough of being toyed with as a witch's piece, right? Eheheheheh, it sure is tough being one of Bern's pieces."
"I'm sure she'll use you and throw you away just like she did with Ange. Geheheheheh!"
"I'm not giving you the option of stepping down. Keep fighting for the sake of your sister's future."
"I'm your ally. Until you win, I'll support you so that you can reach that future... for all eternity, until I get bored. *giggle*giggle*."
I can't let her provocation and cajolery rile me up... These witches know I get mad easily, and they're trying to take advantage of that... Battler withstood it all, and finally relaxed his clenched fists.
"Yes, I will do whatever I want."
"...Hey, where are you goi~ng?"
Even though Battler acknowledged this 5th game, he turned his back on them, which surprised Lambdadelta a bit.
"If you're going to be Beato's substitute, then I'm sure that Bernkastel witch over there can be mine if she wants."
"...Not a bad idea. Otherwise, this'll turn into a loss by default."
"What the heck?! Are you gonna just ignore this Episode 5 that I put so much effort into making?! Rude, ruuude!"
"...Battler says he's going to take a break for a while. Until he comes back, I'll be the substitute player."
"How's that sound...? Battler...?"
"...You do that."
"...What's wrong, Lambda? So, you'll refuse to play if it's against me instead of that fool Battler...?"
"Ehheheheheh!! Of course not♪ I'm glad I get to play with you, Be~rn!"
"Come on, let's play, let's play! Let's play together in Lambdadelta-sama's super <hyper> and <cute> Episode 5~!"
"...Well, this really is a world that Beato created. You aren't going to ruin the atmosphere of the story, are you...?"
"Don't worry about that. I'm really good at reading between the lines for that sort of stuff. I made sure to use a Beato-ish atmosphere to make an even more interesting tale."
"Battler, make sure you come back as soon as your break's over, okay? It'd be a shame to miss this. I've prepared plenty of bonus hints that'll get him closer to Beato's secre~t♪"
"...Is what it'll look like but I'll actually fill it with misdirection and make things more and more confusi~ng."
"Wait, hey, Battleer! Why aren't you listening when a witch is talking?!"
Without answering, Battler disappeared into the darkness. After shrugging and cackling, the witches immediately started playing with the game board they had stolen from Beato...
BGM: Melody (instrumental)
"...Since they're using the same game board, they cannot do anything that this child cannot do. However, they can do things that this child wouldn't do."
"...What do you mean, things she wouldn't do?"
"The materials of chess exist so that you can play chess. You 'cannot' use them to play cards. However, things such as throwing the chess pieces at your opponent and scribbling on the board... Doing such things is not impossible. However, that would be blasphemy against the game of chess, so people 'don't do that'."
That definitely, wouldn't be chess anymore. It looked like Beato's eyes clouded very slightly with sadness.
"...Damn them. This game is between me and Beato. I won't let anyone else profane it."
At that time, gold butterflies gathered and Ronove, holding a tea set with black tea, appeared.
"...If you wouldn't mind."
"Certainly. So, how has this journey of yours in search of Milady's thoughts been?"
"I don't have a clue, but I'm enjoying it."
"However, is this really alright? Is it alright for you to relax here?"
"...You mean that game those witches just started all by themselves?"
"Yes. Just now, when I went to serve them some tea, the murders of the first twilight had already taken place, and it seemed as though the next murder would occur shortly."
When Beato and I were playing, the game would be paused whenever someone left their seats. However, those witches wouldn't pause that game just because I wasn't around...
"...Ronove, did you see their game?"
"Just a part of it."
"How was it?"
Ronove lifted the pot high with an elegant gesture as he poured the black tea. After finishing that, he finally said one thing. He let us hear his impression of it.
"...What do you mean, love?"
"My apologies. That's how it would be put if a woman were to say it. As a man, perhaps one could say it was dishonorable."
I understood what those words meant. When I met Virgilia's eyes, she shook her head slightly and stared at the floor...
"...At a glance, I believe it resembles Milady's games greatly. However, the foundation is very different."
"Does it go against the rules of Beato's game?"
"No, it does not. Lambdadelta-sama actually does understand the rules of Milady's game quite well. However..."
Battler stood up. There was no need to make Ronove say any more.
"...Sorry, Ronove. I know you went to all the trouble of pouring this for me, but tea isn't what I need."
"So, you will go after all?"
...These guys weren't even here in the beginning. Because I've been loafing about, crazier and crazier witches have been introduced, and now they've hijacked this game between me and Beatrice.
"I've got to take it back. Now, I'm supposed to be the one taking care of Beato's game board. That means I shouldn't just sit around here."
"...Thank you. I wanted to let this child hear those words."
"I'm sure she hears them. Milady is simply unable to answer."
Beato lay there silently, like a living doll with dull eyes... The game board that she had created herself had been hijacked by incomprehensible people and was being turned into a mess... If I was designated to be her opponent... Then Beato must have created this game for me.
I've... got to take it back.
"...Wait here. I'll go and take it back."
Of course, Beato didn't respond in any way. That's right. If she can't respond, then I have to protect it in her place.
"I'll be right back. Virgilia, Ronove. I'm counting on you two to look after this golden sleeping princess."
"Yes. Leave it to us."
"...See you later, Battler-kun. And please, in the game without this child, try to find some part of her. If you can, then even if this child is absent, it will mean that you have fought with her."
"...You're right. Aaah, it's all useless. What am I doing?"
In case you remember the translation I was using for the previous LP - what Umineko Project translated as "That's no good, that's no goddamn good", Witch Hunt translates as "It's useless, it's all useless." So, Battler's catchphrase is a little different from here on out.
"Sorry to keep you waiting, witches!! My break is over!!"
When he faced the jet-black heavens and yelled this, the whole world shattered, as though it were made out of thin glass. Then, as though it had been that way since the beginning, it transformed into that smoking room where Battler had fought Beato so many times, and which the two witches had now hijacked.
"...You never showed up, so I just advanced things on my own."
Yeah, like you ever even waited for me in the first place...
"Bern was waaay more skillful and thrilling than you were. Right?!"
"Shut up. I'm the player. You substitute witches can just take a step back now."
"...Well, I don't really mind if you join in starting now, but there's probably no need for you anymore."
"Seriously. After all, we're already at the climax! After this, Bern will probably corner me and win."
"What the hell...?!"
"...Nothing wrong with that, is there? Why don't we let him watch the final endgame?"
"Of course. Come on over, Ushiromiya Battler."
"It's almost completely over, but here's the <cute> and <elegant> game I made!"
BGM: Dead Angle
And, with one exception, it has been shown that none of them have committed murder. And, the culprit is among these people.
"...Whoa, whoa. In that case, it's conclusive, isn't it...?"
"Unless the culprit is a witch who committed murder with magic, that is..."
"...It was you?! You killed George, killed my husband?! Why?!! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!!"
In a panic, and with a voice that really couldn't be called flowing, in a manner that was, to put it coldly, unsightly... Aunt Natsuhi denied the suspicion placed upon her... However, there was no longer any way around it...
She stood up, brushed back her long hair, pointed at Aunt Natsuhi and said it one more time.
LET'S PLAY UMINEKO CHIRU, EPISODE 5: END OF THE GOLDEN WITCH