Part 67: The Demon Wedding Ceremony III
BGM: Birth of a New Witch (instrumental)
A crowd of guests wearing goat masks filled the cathedral, waiting for the arrival of the bride and groom... Fitting for a demon's wedding, it was not solemn or quiet, but cheery and noisy, brimming with activity.
"I hear she has gone to see Zepar and Furfur. With the power of love, that powerful pair could even force the demon king to retreat. I do hope that they can be helpful..."
"...I know a~ll about those two. I think you know as well as I that they won't hand over their power easily."
"True. However, that is why they are capable of granting a miraculous power."
"...At any rate, if we can just free Battler-kun's heart from that closed room, we should be able to manage something here. Closed rooms are your favorite, are they not, Gaap? Can you think of any tricks...?!"
"This is a nasty one. Battler and Erika have been dropping red truths all over the place. I can say for certain that it is impossible to escape from the inside on one's own."
"So, after all, the only way is to have someone else trade places with him and set the chain..."
"...If that person does appear, it should be easy to save Battler. There are 11 people, right?"
"Those 11 are sealed on the second floor of the guesthouse... If we could somehow slip them out of there...!"
"...I see. Solving the problem of Battler-sama's closed room is equivalent to solving the problem of either closed room on the guesthouse's second floor."
"Exactly. Limiting your thoughts to just Battler's guest room is like being trapped in a mental closed room. The closed room we need to break open to save Battler isn't the guest room. It's the closed rooms in the guesthouse...!"
"Tch. And you guys specialize in seals and barriers..."
"However, that was quite impressive, <Miss> Gaap. You realized that the closed room you should destroy to save Battler is in the GUESTHOUSE. The ceremony will begin SOON, but why not reconstruct the scene as a way to kill time until THEN?"
"...A, are you sure? Doesn't this violate the obligation of confidentiality you have as Lady Erika's pieces...?"
"That is no PROBLEM. Surely, if you first have the seals around the scene confirmed and fall into DESPAIR, you will be able to celebrate this ceremony more SINCERELY."
"How confident... I'll take that challenge. Lia, let's have ourselves a little snack before the ceremony."
"With that, dear ladies of Eiserne, we humbly ask that you reconstruct the scene for us."
""We hear and obey.""
"The next room over has the exact same LAYOUT. This should be enough for your INSPECTION."
"This room has... Genji, Gohda, Kanon. And then Krauss, Rudolf, and Jessica, for a total of six people."
"The next room over has Hideyoshi, George, Shannon, Kumasawa, and Nanjo, for a total of 5 PEOPLE."
"Don't be stupid, everyone. It doesn't matter who's here. We need to find out how to escape from this room."
"Y, you're right. The door and windows are sealed, so we must somehow escape from some other place..."
"...You know what? I know all about how you heaven people specialize in deceiving by force. This is no closed room. Right...?"
"...Please, allow me to speak. Let it be known that the closed rooms in our charge are perfect...!"
"You were in charge of the window seal of Kinzo's room last game, right...? Just how did Battler let Kinzo escape from that room...?"
"...That was no fault of Cornelia's. The blame rests on her superior, ME."
"This is exactly the same as Kinzo's study. It's the windows. This closed room can be broken by the windows. This trick of yours is just plain obvious."
"H, how...?! Lady Erika sealed the entire room, right...? That means the entire room is sealed, including the windows...!"
"...I see. It would seem that we have been misinterpreting the definition of these seals. It is not impossible to break, a closed room sealed by duct tape. It forms no prison."
"That's it exactly. It's true that the seals prove that the room was a closed room. However, they do not prove that the room will remain as such. They only prove that the room is a closed room as long as the duct tape is not broken."
"We are not trying to deceive you in any WAY. As long as the duct tape is intact, it is guaranteed to be a closed ROOM. That is ALL."
"Th, then why the windows...?! Why is it that we can break the closed room by the windows?!"
"It's simple. We just tear the duct tape apart and jump out. I don't know what the outside wall of the guesthouse is like, but it must have enough of a foothold so that girl could crawl up it and stick duct tape on the outside without anyone noticing."
"...If you break the duct tape, we will immediately know that the seal has been BROKEN. And we have already proven that the seals were intact at the time of Battler's logic ERROR."
Gaap is the demon that specializes in burying closed room mysteries... She looked down at the short Dlanor, as though a challenge such as this was like taking candy from a baby. Dlanor looked up at her with a bold expression, and sparks flew between them...
"What do you mean, 'seals=closed room' is wrong?! That's insane..."
"Remember, Lia. Which seals did Erika and the others show us at that time? Which seals did they show were still intact?!"
"...Pu ku ku ku. I see. This is the sort of falsification that the Great Court of Heaven likes to practice."
"I cannot let that remark PASS. What is your COMPLAINT?"
"Come on, I've been saying it the whole time. It's the windows. It's true that you sealed everything with those seals. That included the windows, at that time. And at the time they were sealed, that counted as proof. So far so good. But you know what?!"
"After that, any one of the people inside could have done it! Umm, who was here again?! Genji, Gohda, Kanon, Krauss, Rudolf, Jessica! Any one of them could do it! All they had to do was tear the duct tape on the window, slip out from there, and save Battler...!"
"But at the time of the logic error, it was proven that the seals were intact...!"
"C, come to think of it...! At that time, Lady Erika just showed the doors of the two rooms and claimed that the seals were intact for each... She never mentioned the seals on the windows...!!"
"That's correct. It's probably true that the seals on the doors and windows were perfect at first.?However, at the time of the logic error, only the status of the seals on the doors was confirmed. In other words, since the time Erika left the guesthouse, it was not forbidden for them to break through the windows and leave whenever they wished!"
"What do you say? I've got you now, haven't I? So this is how you do things."
"...Commander Dlanor. It's nearly time..."
"...It seems the bride and groom have ARRIVED. This ends our CHAT. We will meet again LATER."
With a happy-looking grin on her face, Dlanor turned around. But this must have hit her where it hurts. Gaap wouldn't let her get away. She grabbed the other's shoulder.
"...Wait there. Confirm whether or not the seals on the windows were preserved at the time of the logic error. If you don't, it's possible for anyone in that room to save Battler!!"
"And who... do you think such a rescue would be possible FOR?"
"It doesn't matter who! Then, just by personal preference, I'll name Kanon-kun. He seems agile, and hiding his presence is his specialty. He's the perfect person to follow after Erika and quickly come to Battler-kun's rescue!"
"Kanon...? Hehheheheheheheheheheh... IMPOSSIBLE."
"Impossible? Come now, we can't trust what you say with normal words. Use the red truth. Swear upon that red longsword of yours."
"...<Miss> Gaap. A sacred wedding is about to begin HERE. You ask me to draw my sword in a sacred place such as THIS? How inelegant and RUDE. Let's do this some other TIME. GOODBYE."
Gaap's rapid reverse roundhouse that followed her blue wedge... crossed with Dlanor's red longsword, and both pointed at the other's throat... The once peaceful mood of the wedding broke apart. Several goat guests whispered to each other, wondering why those two seemed to be fighting.
"...Okay, so you can counter that... Why didn't you just say so in the first place?"
"...We thought that Beatrice might eventually reach that thought, then barge in on the wedding with that as the key to Battler's ESCAPE. I did not think that you would press us first... and force us to show our HAND."
"Y, you do fight dirty, don't you... You were trying to trap Beato by making her suspect the windows, then turning the tables on her..."
"What else should a human who guards the bride be expected to DO? Are you satisfied NOW? A hellish wedding truly is vulgar and BARBARIC. If you would excuse US."
"...Wait up, you haven't fooled me yet... You were talking about the seals blocking Kanon, the ones on the windows of the cousins' room, right? Then what about the windows on the next room over? All you've done is shown that the rescue would have been impossible for Kanon. There's still a chance for the humans in the next room over...!"
"...How very PERSISTENT."
BGM: Happiness of Marionette - Omake
"Dlanor A. Knox. I am with the bride's PARTY. Here is my stamped INVITATION. Also, here are my credentials as bodyguard to the BRIDE."
"Confirmed as Chief Knox. Welcome to Lord BATTLER's wedding!"
"I'm Gaap. I'm with the groom's party. Here's my invitation and... ah, oh no."
"You didn't get it stamped at the reception desk nyeh."
"I came here directly, so I didn't go by the reception desk. Tehe, haven't got a stamp yet."
"Wh, why do you always have to do that at times like this...?!!"
"...Gaap-sama. My apologies, but we'll have to ask you to come with us to a different room."
Dlanor watched, shrugged, and turned away...
"Wait there, Dlanor!! Respond to my blue truth!!"
"Allow me to speak. Know that the ticket window is open from 10:00 to 5:00 on weekdays. Lunch break runs from 12:00 to 1:15."
"Allow me to speak. Know that the use of white-out or strikethroughs is not permitted when filling out forms."
"There's a rumor that they refuse Comiket applications for the same thing nyeh."
"Th, that's an urban legend... Probably."
"Let us provisionally accept that blue truth VERBALLY. It will be put on hold until the proper forms are received, and multiple submissions are not ALLOWED."
"I don't understand!! Can you respond to my blue truth?! Or can't you?!"
"...If you fill out the application on Monday, we should be able to have an answer for you by the end of next MONTH. Multiple submissions are forbidden, so the blue truth you just spoke will be unusable during this wedding CEREMONY. This is in accordance with the laws of evidence, official Great Court regulation 214 line 15, regarding the prevention of multiple SUBMISSIONS!"
"Please, allow me to speak. Know that it is forbidden for blue truth to be used if based on the argument that the window seals of the next room over were torn at the time of the logic error."
"Please, allow me to speak. Know that there can be no obligation to provide an answer to this blue truth...!"
"C, cowards!! Hey, let go of me, rabbit band!!"
Just when she had thought that she'd reached the core... they had underhandedly refused to respond. However, this is a big clue. There's a chance that the window seals on the next room over have been broken...! In other words, it might be possible for Hideyoshi, George, Kumasawa, Shannon, or Nanjo to save Battler. And yet, just now, that has been sealed away...! The use of any blue based on 'the window seals on the next room over might have been broken'...has been prevented...
It's now impossible... to claim that the five who could have saved Battler were the ones who did it...!
BGM: Waltz Op. 34
"...My apologies, child of man. I am stuck on this just like you are."
"Huh... What are you saying...?"
"I also realized that the windows of the next room over were left available... However, I hadn't imagined that the use of that argument would be prevented..."
"Doesn't this completely violate the rules?! I mean, how can a quiz be fair if you can't say the right answer?! Isn't this a logic error for the other side?!"
"...We can also view the fact that the tale is continuing as proof that it wasn't a logic error..."
"In other words, there's some other answer completely unrelated to the windows of the next room over...?"
"...Or, it may be possible to explain, without discussing the windows, how one of those five came to Battler's rescue."
"And not discussing the windows means getting out of the room without using the windows. That would make this next room over a closed room again...!"
"...Yes. That is why I am also stuck. Because of these strange seal proclamations, the two rooms have once again become closed rooms. Most likely-"
"Most likely what? If you're so vastly intelligent, what kind of answer have you found?!"
"No answer?! What do you mean?!"
"There is no way out except for the windows of the next room over. And yet, we are not allowed to include those windows in our reasoning. There probably is no answer... for this closed room."
"And if so, what next?!"
"Since no answer exists, then defeat is absolutely certain for whichever player is burdened with the responsibility of explaining."
"So we have no moves left...?! In other words, that statement of Dlanor's... was the final blow?! Doesn't this make it checkmate?!!"
BGM: Worldend (solo)
"You mean... one of the greatest riddles of this tale...?"
"Precisely. By using that, or possibly..."
Featherine sighed deeply. It was something she hadn't done at all before now. I see. So, as long as this tale has been, it is finally time for the curtain to close...
Revealing this riddle... means the same as finally... killing Beato. Battler... is probably the only one qualified to do that. If he weaves that tale as the Game Master... No one will be able to stop it now...