Part 31: Revenge After 19 Years
Natsuhi, also hoping to take revenge for the financial submission her parents' family had been forced into by the Ushiromiya family, schemed to capture the Ushiromiya family's wealth.
(*From the Trial Synopsis: Page 4)
To curry favor with Kinzo, Natsuhi repeatedly disguised herself as Beatrice, the witch of Kinzo's delusions, and engaged in sexual acts. Kinzo saw Natsuhi dressed as the mistress from his past and was easily ensnared. Furthermore, by accident, she was sometimes witnessed in this outfit by the servants, and this became part of the foundation for the legend of the witch.
(*From the Trial Synopsis: Page 8)
(*From presented evidence #17)
(*From the Bernkastel Documents: Page 802)
Furthermore, Genji was murdered because he was opposed to this scheme.
Later on, Hideyoshi was also murdered.
From this point on, she displayed the strong intent to indiscriminately murder all those involved.
(*From the Trial Synopsis: Page 27)
(*From Supplemental Materials B: Page 61)
(*From the Bernkastel Documents: Page 1103)
The following outlines the details of the crime.
24:00, October 4th, 1986.
Natsuhi decided to commit the crime. Because Genji refused to assist her when she asked, she murdered him.
Afterwards, she went to the so-called 'cousin room' on the second floor of the guesthouse, waited for Rosa to join the rest, and killed George, Jessica, Maria, and Rosa. She damaged the necks of those corpses. Afterwards, because there were people in the lounge on the first floor, she waited in an empty room on the second floor.
The people in the lounge dispersed just after 3:00 AM. Natsuhi left the empty room and escaped from the guesthouse. She returned to her personal room, where she met up with Kinzo, who had been hiding there. She stayed there until morning.
Predicting that one of those present would eventually want to take a rest in a private room, Natsuhi concealed herself inside a closet in one of the guest rooms.
From the time the others became aware of the incident to the time that they carried Hideyoshi's corpse out, Natsuhi once again concealed herself in the closet. Furthermore, as proof of this, a button from Natsuhi's clothes was found in the closet. Afterwards, she exited the closet and tried to return to her own room.
As though she had given up and decided that it would be useless to try and talk her way out of this any longer, Aunt Natsuhi said that and screamed. It was a sad incident. I wanted to believe that, despite the pitiable circumstances which led to her marriage into the Ushiromiya family, Natsuhi just might have been able to grasp a sliver of happiness together with Uncle Krauss and Jessica. However, by Aunt Natsuhi's own doing, Uncle Krauss, and even her beloved daughter Jessica, had been heartlessly killed... It was even harder to believe that Grandfather had been an accomplice and hid the corpses...
However, judging by the clear testimony given by several people who knew him, Grandfather's mental state for these last few years has been far from what anyone would consider normal. Perhaps, possessed by a mad devotion to the mistress he had lost long ago, Grandfather might truly have believed that Aunt Natsuhi was a reincarnation of Beatrice. Where is Grandfather now? Like Erika had theorized, did he really believe that he could revive Beatrice by carrying out murders following the epitaph, and succumb to Natsuhi's cajolery? Right now, is he holding some kind of disturbing ceremony with the bodies he carried away...?
Aunt Natsuhi sobbed as she spoke.
"...This is... your revenge, isn't it...? You, the man from 19 years ago...!!"
This 'man from 19 years ago' that Aunt Natsuhi kept mentioning was supposedly someone who had caught her in some sort of trap. However, she had only mentioned that this man from 19 years ago existed, and she most certainly hadn't tried to explain what had happened 19 years ago...
"I'm sure, that man's underling is one among us here. I'm sure that right now, that man is ridiculing me through one of you..."
"...Then tell me...! Are you happy now? Has a bit of that pain and suffering you've endured for 19 years gone away...?! I finally understand. The reason you've cornered me so far, is because, you wanted to make me acknowledge that, right...?"
"...Natsuhi-san. Other than us, there's absolutely no one here. Please stop this insanely desperate charade and quit pretending that someone who doesn't exist actually does."
Erika laughed mockingly, but, as Aunt Natsuhi looked at us... No, as she looked at some being behind us, she hung her head and shook.
Then, she confessed to her sin.
Video: Natsuhi's Confession
"So, you've finally acknowledged your crime directly."
The adults all whispered together, wondering what this was about. Because they had never heard about a murder case 19 years ago.
"N, 19 years ago, I, committed a sin. I couldn't forgive it. That, baby...!!"
"Baby? Now what are you talking about?"
"...On that day 19 years ago, Father entrusted me with a baby. Since I still couldn't bear a successor on my own, Father told me to adopt a child, and he made me hold a baby which he said had been brought here from an orphanage..."
"Do you have any idea, how humiliating that was to me as a woman...?!"
With a mix of conflicting emotions, of anger, sadness, regret and possibly defiance, Aunt Natsuhi confessed. The humiliation as a woman that she was no longer expected to bear a child. And also, the indescribably unpleasant feeling of being made to hold an unfamiliar baby. It caused her great sadness and rage, and before very many nights passed, it ate a hole into her heart...
...It happened when I went on a walk through the rose garden to the harbor, along with a servant holding the baby... I wanted to be alone, but that female servant holding the baby faithfully followed me everywhere. I was unable even to tell her to stop following me, and therefore unable to escape from the child's crying...
...That day... marked the beginning of 19 long, headache-filled years...
If by taking that baby, and throwing it down onto the rocky beach far below me... I could undo it all...
I really did listen to that demon's temptation.
The servant holding the baby stepped on a large rock, twisted her ankle, and staggered... She leaned against the rough fence, and at that time, I thought I heard the fence creak loudly. I told her to look out and tried to grab her shoulder.
The rough fence snapped from the base, and the servant, along with the baby held in her arms, fell down towards the rocky beach below... Even though... I remember that moment vividly, for some reason I recall a vague... and very strange feeling. It almost felt as though instead of falling, the two of them were silently swallowed up into empty space.
So I didn't even hear the sound of them crashing to the rocky beach. No, I'm sure I heard it. But because I wanted to think that they'd disappeared, I must have erased that sound from my memory...
"For an instant, I thought it was a dream. It was high enough that I couldn't see the two of them below me just by leaning over. So I didn't know whether them falling... or the few seconds before that... had actually happened or not..."
I must have been wishing that the child would fall from here so much that I just had a daydream... Trying to make myself believe this, I hurried back to the rose garden. Then I decided to let the servant take care of the baby, choosing to take a rest alone in the garden...
...Then, Father asked what had happened to the baby, And an uproar began over the disappearance of the servant who had been in charge of the baby... Eventually, the broken fence was discovered, and the two corpses were found at the bottom of the cliff... The child had been here for reasons that couldn't become known, so its existence was hushed up, and the official story was that the servant had had an accident on her own and died. That's right. I... stole away two innocent lives in one go...
As for the poor servant... her family was graciously compensated. Her aged husband, who didn't know the truth, accepted this even though he grieved over the unfortunate accident. Then, just a few years ago, he died of old age, and I confessed the truth over his grave, apologizing.
"So right here, right now, I'll confess to my crime! I, Ushiromiya Natsuhi, did 19 years ago... push you off a cliff... and try to kill you..."
...But... you didn't die, did you... You're still alive... and you still call me 'Mother'...
...You came to this island, and took your revenge on me, didn't you... For these 19 years... You knew that the one you should have called your mother pushed you off a cliff, and you must have lived a very hate-filled life...
"...And now, you've taken everything I've gained since pushing you off that cliff, 18 years of my life, and smashed it all to pieces... I no longer have my beloved husband and daughter. And I've lost even my honor, and am being called a murderer... No, I really am a murderer, aren't I... Yes, that's right. It all went according to your plans. I'm now regarded as a killer..."
"...How's that...? Is this enough... for your revenge...? My husband and daughter have been killed!! I've been made to look like a murderer... like an adulteress even... After seeing me living in disgrace like this. Are you satisfied...?! Yes, I'll bet you're quite satisfied... Because my family... my honor... everything... has been stolen from me... Ooohh, *hic* gaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!"
"...After all this, do you still claim that you were framed? Seriously, you just don't know when to give up."
"Can you hear me?! You, the cursed child from 19 years ago...!! Are you satisfied now?! You've stolen everything from me now!! What else could you want?! Please... just... forgive me..."
"...Battler-san, did you say something?"
"...B, Battler... ku... n...?"
BGM: Solitary Deep Sea Fish