Part 175: Beach Party of the Golden Witch
I'm getting a beamed-in message from Witchchat... a message from a lurker...!!
a lurker posted:
witchcore ricepunk posted:
Next episode Beato and Battler go on a honeymoon to a hot spring resort--but the rest of the Ushiromiyas come to crash their party! Once the bodies start piling up, will the newlyweds be able to solve the mystery and salvage their vacation?
BGM: Doorway of Summer
"Ihihihi! Now this is more like it!"
Rolling up his pants and loosening his tie, Battler grinned as he kicked off his shoes and let his toes sink into the sand. Being Territory Lord had its perks, he had decided, and the second nicest was having access to this particular bit of magic.
Even in his youth, he had never had much time to enjoy Rokkenjima in the summer, so the Golden Land offered a golden opportunity to make up for lost time. He stretched out his arms and let the sun soak into his pale skin, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath of salty air.
"Come over here, Battler, and rub some of this sunscreen on my neck!
Waving with a bright plastic bottle in her hand, the nicest part about being Territory Lord looked as though she planned on staying on the beach for most of the foreseeable future. A giant umbrella decorated with the One-Winged Eagle had been pushed into the sand in front of two plush-looking beach towels. A low table set with smartly cut sandwiches and frosty glasses of lemonade sat within arm's reach, while an obviously well-loved copy of And Then There Were None had been carefully set upside-down and open to save Beatrice's place.
But nevertheless, Battler trotted over at a fast clip, making Beatrice laugh with obvious delight.
"I know you said you wanted to go to a hot springs resort for our honeymoon, but..."
"No, <it's perfecto>!"
He danced around the umbrella, deftly taking the bottle of sunscreen out of Beatrice's hands as he went past, circling around to her back.
"And now, the attack!"
In one smooth motion, he opened the sunscreen and gave the plastic bottle a hard squeeze as he aimed at her neck.
It was cold! She could hear his obnoxious "Ihihihi" behind her, as if to say, "Just as planned!"
Beatrice started to spin around, but she was stopped by Battler's hands. The cold lotion quickly warmed as he rubbed it into her neck.
She relaxed back into his hands, and for a moment, they both remained silent, listening to the waves crashing against Rokkenjima's rocky shores and the seagulls loudly enjoying their lunches. But as Battler frowned and began gently lifting the edge of her dress to apply lotion and get a better idea of what kind of bonkers swimsuit she might be wearing, she began to speak again.
"I suppose you didn't get to spend many summers here, did you? For every stormy October day I suffered through in my thousand years on this island, there was another day in August... when the clouds would tower over the blue seas and I would stand here on this warm beach and watch them grow higher and higher..."
"And even though being trapped for a thousand years was hard... how many of those years, if you add them all up together, were spent on this perfect warm beach?"
Battler's hands slowed to a stop, and Beatrice leaned back into his arms as they took a seat on the towel. They both let her last thought roll through their heads for a bit, like the surf rolled along the shoreline. Battler may not have spent many summer days on Rokkenjima, but he had spent enough to share in this brief moment of nostalgia. But then he cleared his throat, and while Beatrice couldn't see his face, she nevertheless could feel the heat of his blush.
"I probably only spent a week of summer here in my life, but... I'm grateful for all the weeks ahead, the ones I'll get to spend on this beach... here... with you."
: "Oh, Battler..."
They must have drifted asleep after that, the warmth of the sun and each other's bodies being all it took to knock them out after all the drama of the 6th game.
Who knows how many hours passed before Battler cracked opened his eyes, but when he did, it was only moments later that they shot open wide and he came fully awake.
BGM: Resurrected replayer
"We aren't going to be holding anything back."
"Ojou-sama and I--"
"I mean, Jessica-sama and I--"
"What Yoshiya is trying to say is bring it on, you two! We're not going to lose again!!"
"That's right. You may be feeling cocky, but we're ready to show you who's love is really the strongest!"
"Hey! What are you guys--"
"Don't say we didn't warn you!"
She leapt up, and it was as though her feet were on fire! When she struck the ball, it too caught aflame, as bright as the noon sun overhead!
"Try returning that!"
"If you think that's enough to win against us--"
"...You've got another thing coming... Ojou-sama!"
"I've got it!"
He dove forward faster than any ordinary person would be able to see! Somehow, even in his swimming trunks, it seemed as though he was followed by fluttering coattails! And then...!
"...I'm... ashamed of myself, Jessica-sama."
"No, Kanon, it's okay... I mean, Yoshiya! And you call me Jessica!"
"It's okay to get a little over excited, Kanon, but we only have so many volleyballs!"
"We can continue the game as soon as one arrives, so don't worry, Kanon, just...control yourself better next time."
"Okay, nee-san... Jessica."
And with the characteristic sound of someone stepping out of empty space, Ronove appeared to solve the problem.
"That's right, thanks Ronove!"
"Ihihi, that's one hell of a butler! But wow..."
He breathed a sigh of relief and turned to where Beatrice continued snoozing, her back turned to Battler, a small spoon without her bigger counterpart.
"Hey, Beatrice, you should watch this, Kanon totally--"
"Now what was that!? Who's firing guns on my beach!?"
Even though Battler had jumped an embarrassing height at the sudden noise, when he looked down, he saw that Beatrice was still fast asleep, though her face wore a fresh frown and a newly knitted brow.
"I need to go tell some idiot not to disturb Beato--"
Before he could finish the thought, however, more of Beatrice's furniture came warping in from out of nothingness, though Virgilia did it with considerably more decorum than Gaap.
"Do not worry, Lord BATTLER. My magic can make this place perfectly silent for your new bride."
"Hahahaha! And if anybody else comes to disturb her, I'll see to it that they go someplace less sunny."
He spun around and ran off, past the dueling couples, who were now arguing over who would serve next and whether George and Shannon had scored a point. Instead, Battler aimed himself at three figures, each fully dressed despite the heat...
"My lord, I--"
"I have complete confidence in my abilities. Nanjo, tell him!"
"I understand you, my lord, but forgive me for saying--"
"This is possible for Ushiromiya Kinzo, Genji!!"
"...I understand, my lord...I will obey..."
With that shouted command, Battler could see that Genji had pulled three...strings? toward himself, and...
...three clay pigeons flew off in the direction of the horizon. And just as quickly--
BGM: Scorpion entrails
"Did you see that? Huh, Genji? Nanjo??"
Genji merely nodded in assent, bowing as he accepted his master's THREE rifles for reloading.
He could hardly believe his eyes. Grandpa had... juggled?... three of his Winchesters! And remarkably, all three clay pigeons were now just clouds of dust and rubble still falling into the ocean.
Battler shook his head. He wouldn't put it past Grandfather...
"That old man..."
As he began stalking toward the extremely loud patriarch of the Ushiromiya clan, he came up short. When he got further from where Beatrice had set up their umbrella, he could see past a line of trees that had blocked...
: "Slice the flesh from the bone, running your knife along the spine. You can start from either end."
"But of course!"
: "Slow and steady!"
"I got it!"
"You bastards, what are...you..."
Before he could finish, the facts became clear. Both of Kumasawa's hands were red with blood, and a pile of guts sat stinking in the sun, and...
...her fingers were carefully removing scales from a beautiful mackerel. A number of clean filets sat next to her workspace in a metal bowl of ice water, while the heads of others looked up, lifelessly, from the bucket of waste.
"Lord BATTLER! Kumasawa here was just showing me how she cleans her favorite fish!"
: "It looks like we'll have plenty for dinner! Mackerel stew, grilled mackerel, mackerel sushi...and of course, mackerel cake for desert! Ohohoho!"
"Of course. Sorry for shouting, I, uh..."
"No, no, my lord, don't worry yourself, we were just--"
One moment, Gohda was his usual unruffled and refined self, suit pressed and buttoned up despite the summery heat. The next, he was soaking wet, and only Battler's quick wits kept him from getting doused.
He shook it, demonstrating that it seemed to come straight from a black hole in the ground.
"Well, I don't know where it comes from, but the water pressure is a little weird."
"You...You idiot! I don't care about that, what are you...!"
As though he didn't hear Battler, Rudolf had already turned around, his thumb placed over the end of the hose and producing a wide spray of water.
BGM: Happiness of Marionette (Omake)
And indeed, there they all were, in white t-shirts and bathing suits. Was this...a wet t-shirt contest!?
"Wahahaha! Ya know, I saw this kind of thing on TV overseas, but I never thought I would getta see it in real life!"
"Well, I often have business in America, right?"
"Business, eh? I thought it was mostly lawsuits."
"Shut it, Aniki. What do you say girls, who do you think will come out on top?"
(grumpily) "Luci-nee obviously thinks it will be her."
"Shut up, Satan!! I mean, I am oldest, so..."
"Ooooh, no! Never! I refuse to let you win! I'll win the hearts of these men!"
"Like anyone else wants to bother with that."
"They look tasty enough to me!"
"Yeah, what are you talking about Belphegor, I couldn't stand it if..."
The world's finest vegeta-lion shook his head, frowning.
"Hmm...Maybe it's whoever can get the most water soaked...in...? Uryuu, it's too hard!"
"Uu...Yeah. Let's get back to the water!"
"Shouldn't someone be looking after Maria? Where's Rosa?"
In fact, the rest of the adults had clearly heard about their husbands' activities, as they were at that very moment headed down to the beach with even more of Kinzo's guns...
BGM: Worldend Dominator
"No, you're completely right! I can't believe Krauss!"
"Oh, but I can! Rudolf and Krauss have always been pigs, it's Hideyoshi I'm surprised with. Who would've thought he'd ever have to guts to cross me, hmmmm?"
"But why do you have a gun, Rosa?"
"I get it, though."
Battler couldn't help but feel like his honeymoon had gone permanently off the rails
"I guess that problem's already taken care of..."
When he turned back to Kumasawa and Gohda, perhaps to discuss ideas for a romantic dinner with his wife, he found that they were now otherwise occupied.
"Mmmm, that smells delicious!!!"
"Oh, have you worked up an appetite?"
"Good morning, child."
"I thought you'd never get up, Riiche."
But rather than meet the smiles of her friends with her own, she instead turned her blank expression toward the sea, to watch as the Ushiromiyas and her furniture played in the sun.
"I've been a fool."
"What are you saying? A fool? What's this now, in the moment of your triumph?"
"That's right! Riiche, you've got it all! Enjoy it!"
"Thank you... but... Watching this reminds me that, even though my magic brought about this Golden Land... will they ever enjoy the real sun shining on the real Rokkenjima like this again?"
Her voice cracked, and she paused to clear her throat, one delicate wrist swiping across her eyes.
"I... did I take that from Battler? If so, I took it from myself as well! But..."
"Child, don't you understand? We've made it to the Golden Land at last. You've married your love, the one you were made to be with. Perhaps..."
"...Maybe this wasn't the ending you wanted when we started out, but this is a happy ending! It's the happy ending you needed, the one you deserve!"
BGM: None (but also ahahaha.wav)
BGM: Fishy Aroma
"Be quiet Lambda, or I'll cut your tongue out and dip it in hot chili oil."
"Ooooh, you promise, Bern? But I'd prefer you dip it in chocolate~♡
All Battler could do was stare in dumb amazement. Lambdadelta and Bernkastel floated above the waves with the utmost composure, though the effect was somewhat ruined by Lambda shoveling popcorn into her mouth.
"What more could you want in this territory? Lord BATTLER has won! We've won!"
"Ffft. You call that a victory? Maybe as far as victory over Bern's piece goes..."
"It's a gameboard, isn't it? The beauty is in how many different configurations it can undergo. They say even real chessmasters get to totally new game states in just several dozen moves."
"Though a chess set has 32 pieces, and yours..."
"You witches can't just trample over my territory however you please. Unless you have business here..."
"Of course we do."
"Do you think we'd just show up to see how you were doing? Drop off a wedding gift?"
"Though I did bring you this tin of plum tea..."
"Oh, thank you, how lovely..."
She reached out and Bern seemed to toss it gently in her direction. Of course, the tin spun lazily through the air, traveling not in any kind of arc, but in a straight line from Bern's hand to Beatrice's.
"It's really nothing."
"Anyway, we're bored, bored, bored! And this Fragment is still fun, fun fun!"
"So we came up with some entertainment..."
"That's right. So, without further ado..."
"Come, Ushiromiya Battler! Come, Beatrice! I've brought you a honeymoon present! But I forgot it in the past! So come with me, come back!"
BGM: Fishy Aroma (Vocals)
Witchcore Ricepunk posted:
I got it! These new peeps are the married couple who operate the hot spring resort!
BGM: Organ Short #200 Million in C Minor
"What a day. First those newly weds canceled on us, and then... Well, do you remember what you promised me when we opened?"
"Of course, I promised you'd never have to deal with any witches up...here..."
"Uh huh, and with whom, exactly, did we just have to deal?"
"IT WAS TWO WITCHES!!"
Author's Note: I'm borrowing Prof's thumbnails, so apologies for the mix between PS3 and OG sprites. Thanks, thread, for being such wonderful readers. Like Hachijo, I'm sure the very first Endless Witch is happy. Look forward to the next installment after EP7, which will be an extremely hard act to follow.