Part 103: The Day the Witch Revived
There's only one place you'll find that word on Rokkenjima. Gold butterflies flitted from shadow to shadow, dodging raindrops.
"...Unless my memory is mistaken, this is probably the place."
It was called the chapel, but not once had Kinzo used it for worship, and the members of the family had never been allowed inside. There were strict orders that none approach it without reason, and its purpose has always been a mystery. However, all of these mysteries got boring after several decades. At some point, everyone forgot the chapel even existed, and that splendid building passed from the thoughts of Rokkenjima's residents...
Of course, this had been true for Beato as well. Beato, who hated boredom, had no desire to approach places that humans never went. Her last memory was of the time she went in there to taunt Shannon as she tried to clean.
"...There can be no doubt. That is it. Quadrillion."
Beato looked up... above the door of the chapel. There was a relief displayed over an arch. English words were written there.
This chapel was built long ago. If there is a device like the one I imagine, Kinzo must have prepared that epitaph riddle many decades ago. He must have been planning to use it as a ceremony for choosing a fitting successor all that time. However, that ceremony is now a ceremony to open the door to the Golden Land and to my resurrection.
When I snapped my fingers, the ground bulged, and several snake-like dead trees sprouted up. They twisted around each other to form a ladder, which leaned itself against the door.
"If my guess is right, there's some sort of device in that relief."
I slowly climbed the ladder. Because of the size of the door, the relief was very high up. This close up, it looks much bigger than it did from the ground.
I thought it strange, but nothing more. The Master treasured this relief, so the head servant cared for it himself. I always accepted that excuse. But now, I understand. There must be something in this relief. And Genji polished it himself to make sure than no one else accidentally found out...
The tips of my fingers touched the 'q'. My fingertips were soon covered with dust. However, I quickly realized that there was something strange about it.
"...Don't tell me this letter... No, it had to be like this. There would be no other way to offer up sacrifices..."
BGM: 7 Weights
"Just... as I thought..."
Here's the 'q' I pulled out. And this part's a wedge... no. It's a key. A key was attached to the back of the 'q', and that had been stuck into a key hole in the relief.
"...I see... In that case, I know what to do next. Very good, this 'q' key is a wrong answer. Enough with you."
Beato carelessly tossed the 'q' key aside. This was the first sacrifice. She kept on pulling out the keys for the six letters representing 'the key'.
"...So, 'a' will also be sacrificed. And both 'i's. And then the 'n' at the end."
"Now, I only sacrifice one 'l', but unfortunately, there are two 'l's here."
There were two 'l's. I didn't know which I should sacrifice. I tried pulling both out, but the keys were of different shapes. So, one is a right answer, and one is a wrong answer.
"Well, there are only two. If I make a mistake, I can just try the other one."
Unless messing up sets off a trap that blows up the island, of course. Thinking it a waste of time to sit here worrying, I decided on the right 'l' and pulled it out. Five letters remained in the word.
"And now, the first twilight is over. On to the second twilight."
On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close.
"The 'd' and 'r' are close. What does it mean to tear them apart...? Do I pull them out?"
But if I do, there will only be three letters left. By this point, I was able to make a good guess at what the 'gouge and kill' lines meant.
"Gouge and kill probably means to turn the keys and take them out. In that case, the parts about going from head to leg must mean starting at the left and going right."
If that's the case, there must be five characters left on the board. In other words, 'tear apart' doesn't mean kill.
"If so, then we can read 'tear apart' to mean putting a gap between the 'd' and the 'r'. But how? Once again, there are two ways to do it...?"
Do I remove the 'd' and move it to the left? Do I remove the 'r' and move it to the right?
...After pondering this for some time, I realized that both choices were wrong.
"No. That's not right. I've had it wrong since I removed that 'l'."
If you line it up this way, it's easy to see the next step. The 'r' gets shifted to the right.
"And this next part... is another tough one. Praise my name...?"
It's already clear that this is a word game. Those who remain shall praise my noble name. Just what are the remaining five letters supposed to do? Probably change their order to form a word.
"...'u', 'd', 'r', 'l', 'o'... What should be done about these five letters?"
Praise... my name.
"Heh. How can I get stuck after coming so far...? How are these five letters supposed to praise a name...?!"
That man's name is Ushiromiya Kinzo. Is the 'u' part of Ushiromiya...? No, several letters don't match, and there aren't nearly enough letters to make Ushiromiya...
"One thing that is certain... 'My name' must refer to Kinzo. Then, does the 'u' stand for Ushiromiya after all? Like an initial. Then what do the 'd', 'r', 'l', and 'o' stand for? They can't mean Kinzo. Do the 'r' and 'o'...stand for Rokkenjima...? The master of Rokkenjima, Kinzo... Hmm, not nearly enough letters..."
This riddle left me totally confused. However, there were only five letters left. There can't be so many possible combinations of those letters. I could use process of elimination.
Thinking I'd play around with it, I pulled out the 'u'. There were four letters left. 'd', 'r', 'l', and 'o'.
My idea that the 'u' stood for Ushiromiya was like a heavenly oracle. When I removed the 'u', I thought of making a word with the remaining four letters. 'd', 'r', 'l', and 'o'. Those four letters spun around in my head, changing their orders, and latched upon a single English word that would serve to 'praise' Kinzo...
I had absolutely no basis for it. However, it was like a flash of inspiration. I quickly changed the letters around before that flash faded from my mind.
"On the fourth twilight, gouge the head... oho?!"
It was a key, so it wouldn't have turned if it was the wrong one. But it did turn. I managed to gouge it...! I gouged the first letter, the 'l', with a click, and then pulled it out.
"Next, the fifth twilight...? Gouge the chest... and kill...!"
The 'o' was gouged and pulled out easily. Then, the 'r'. Next, the 'd'. And finally, the 'u'.
When I turned the key of the 'u', I could feel a resistance, as though some device had been activated. I waited for something to change, but nothing did. However, I had felt something happen. A secret door must have opened up somewhere around here.
...Waiting around won't accomplish anything. I've probably done everything I can here... All of the letters in quadrillion had been removed.
"On the ninth twilight, the witch shall revive, and none shall be left alive..."
So, this way, has the witch... have I... revived...?
The tenth twilight. The journey shall end, and you shall reach the capital where the gold dwells... When I stepped down off the ladder and looked around, I immediately noticed that small change.
BGM: Dead Angle
At some point, the lion statue in front of the chapel had turned to face a different direction. How did that work? Did Kinzo plan up this extravagant device back when he first started building on this island...? I walked up to the lion statue and stared at it. Other than the fact that it was pointing a different direction, nothing had changed. In that case, is the lion looking at something in particular now...? I followed its line of sight... and saw another lion statue. And that lion statue had also changed its direction.
"I see... So, follow the lion guideposts. As intricate as ever, I see, Kinzo."
I wasn't complaining anymore. I felt a bit of respect and awe at Kinzo for setting up such an intricate device and having it go undiscovered for all these years. There were lion statues standing like guards at the entrance and the corners of the chapel. The direction they faced had changed, pointing around to the back of the chapel. There was something there.
It was no longer a surprise. This was after the device in the letters. After being guided by the lions. So, when a gaping open secret passageway appeared, with stairs leading down to the darkness below, it wasn't surprising to me anymore.
"So, is this the entrance to the Golden Land, Kinzo...?!!"
"Yes. It took ages and ages to reach... the Golden Land."
"According to the previous games, there was an underground VIP room there, along with ten tons of gold, right?"
"Yes. After going down a rough stairway, there was a door at the end of the passage. Inside, it was beautifully furnished, a true VIP room."
"...And is the gold all you found there?"
"Yes, at the time... It would be a lie to say that I was not dizzied by the sight of all that gold stacked high..."
I lightly touched the pile of gold with my finger. It was hard... and cold. I must have imagined that it would crumble like a sand castle if I touched it. Now, there could be no doubt. This certainly was... a ten ton pile of gold ingots.
Considering the amount of gold I had just found, I figured I ought to be crying out in delight. I didn't really feel like laughing, but I thought it only good manners to do so in a situation like this, so I forced it out. Because of this, only a few feeble laughs slipped from my mouth. At that moment, even stronger than any delight was a feeling as though I'd entered a place I wasn't supposed to be... I couldn't think of what I should do next, now that the epitaph's riddle had been completed.
Then, I heard approaching footsteps. It was coming from the stairway I had entered by. Someone was coming. Could it be... Kinzo? If he finds out I've been in a place like this, will I get scolded harshly...? I thought about hiding and forgetting this ever happened, but my legs wouldn't move. I kept standing there, stunned, in front of the pile of gold... as the footsteps drew closer and closer...
The door opened, and I saw who it was. It... wasn't Kinzo.
"...Did you reach this place by your power alone?"
For some time, Genji stared at Beato in silence, as though he was calculating something. Then, he slowly clapped his hands together. He did it again, over and over. It took quite a long time before I realized that he was applauding me...
"This is fate. It is fate that brought you to this day."
I didn't really understand what Genji was saying. Surely, the shock of seeing the gold still had me paralyzed...
"...Come this way."
Genji opened a closet. Inside it was a torso wearing a beautiful dress made of black cloth and golden stitching. When I saw it, I understood immediately. It was the witch's dress. The black dress worn by the Beatrice in the portrait...
"It is... something you once wore."
I've never worn a dress like this. However, I understood what Genji meant. This dress was one that Beatrice once wore. And, the one who shows a miracle by solving the epitaph is Beatrice. By reaching this room, I succeeded the position of the real Beatrice, the one in the portrait.
Why do I call myself Beatrice? Because the name of the Golden Witch, who rules over Rokkenjima's night, is Beatrice. That's right. I wasn't the real Beatrice. I was a different witch, stealing the name of the witch from Kinzo's delusions. And now, I have become the real Beatrice...
However, this really was... a ceremony to resurrect Beatrice...
In the past, I believed that I could create my own fate with my magic. How ironic that fate should guide me to this place... At this moment, I must truly accept and believe in this word called 'fate'...