Part 149: Tea Party III
Video: The Last Battle, Part 2
"...This way, the wedge I knocked into you has been removed. We'll have to start the fight over, back from square one...!"
The blue wedge that had sewn Beato in place broke apart. There was no longer anything piercing her. The scars on her body had disappeared completely. There stood, just as Battler had hoped for, the figure of the majestic Golden Witch who ruled Rokkenjima.
BGM: Endless Nine
"If you are worthless, then I shall end this match right here, right now."
"With my grand victory, I'll make you regret your refusal to compromise for all eternity!!! Come, starting from the first game!"
"Right!! From the first twilight of the first game!! There's nothing strange about the murder of the six relatives that were found in the gardening shed at the start! The crime was possible for any of those who didn't have an alibi!!"
"Valid. Continue, what about the next closed room murder, with Eva and Hideyoshi?! Even the chain was set for that closed room! I shall add to the red truth. Both deaths were homicides! It is not the case that, after the construction of the closed room, one of them committed suicide after committing murder! Furthermore, the murder was carried out with both the victim and the perpetrator in the same room! No method exists for the perpetrator to commit murder from outside the room!"
"Suppose that the culprit was a human without an alibi. In other words, the dead! We weren't able to identify some of the first six corpses because of their smashed faces. Maybe one was actually a disguised corpse, and culprit X killed those two after making us think they were a victim and hiding away! Then, after the closed room murder was constructed, the culprit hid under the bed and waited for all of us to come and leave!!"
"Very well, next! Kanon was killed in the boiler room, correct? I shall add to the red truth. All of the survivors have alibis! Let us include the dead as well!! In short, no kind of human or dead person on the island could have killed Kanon!"
"If no one could kill him, then he might've been the one to kill!! Kanon-kun might've killed himself."
"One more. Repetition requested, 'Kanon-kun's death was a homicide'."
"I refuse to repeat it."
"By that refusal, it may be possible to view it as a homicide, but you've already proclaimed in red that no one could've killed him. In other words, it wasn't a homicide. This is the same as the linked closed rooms from the third game."
"Kanon-kun died for a reason that was neither suicide nor homicide. The details are unknown, but he died due to an accident."
"Because of the Devil's Proof, I refuse to explain what kind of blunder could've led to an accidental death where a stake was driven into his chest!!"
"Hohoh, now that you have borrowed the power of demons, you are without peer! It is valid!"
"In that case, what about the murders after that in the parlor, of Genji, Nanjo, and Kumasawa?! Naturally, Maria, who was in the same room, did not kill them! And of course, their three deaths were homicides!"
"We can explain those murders with culprit X, who hid away using an unidentified corpse. After all, those three had their faces smashed. It's completely possible that one of them was a body-double corpse!"
"I guarantee the identities of all unidentified corpses. Therefore, there were no body double tricks!"
"Then you can explain it with simultaneous murders. Each of them had a gun, pointed it clockwise, and blew each others' faces off at the same time! After that, Maria collected those guns and hid them!! How about that?!!!"
"What?! What a ridiculous argument!!!"
"H-How amusing...!! Then what about Natsuhi in the end?!"
"I shall add to the red truth! Natsuhi's death was a homicide! There were no unidentified corpses, and all of the survivors have alibis!"
"You can explain it with an indirect murder due to trap X! Something was done to Aunt Natsuhi's gun. It could have been a trap gun, built to send a bullet right into the forehead of anyone who tried to hold it up and shoot it!!"
"The bullet buried into Natsuhi's forehead was not fired from her gun!"
"It's possible that Aunt Natsuhi was lured out by that letter, whose contents were unknown! She was called out into the hall. Then, she was forced to stand at a specified location at a specified time and murdered by trap X, which used a gun that had been installed there beforehand!!"
The instant Beato acknowledged her defeat in the first game, the stakes of the blue truth once again pierced her chest, letting out a terrible sound...
"...Ku, gwah, gaaaaaahhh!!! This is still... hardly painful, and it's not over yet!! Come, now for the second game!!"
Beato just barely pulled out the stakes that had pierced her chest, but even though there was no hole left behind, she still seemed to be bearing a deep wound that was letting out a massive amount of blood. And, she was tormented by an equally fierce pain... But Beato grinned, grinding her teeth, and pushed for the next game to start.
But I won't feel sympathy for her. Just by her existing there, we've been killed and harassed over and over, and Ange's been burdened with a future of isolation...!!
"Correct, just by my being here and laughing, this eternal hell will continue...!!"
"I won't give your little sister back...! Let her cry over the family that shall not return for the next thousand years...!!"
"Damn iiiiiiiiiittt!! No compassion, no mercy! On to the second game!! I'll start with the first crime! Right after it happened, I penetrated to the truth of the closed room murder where the six were killed in the chapel. Someone secretly borrowed Maria's key...and secretly returned it to Maria's bag after the crime was over!!"
"From the time Maria received her key to the instant Rosa unsealed the envelope the next day, the key passed through no one's hands!!"
"That door might've had an auto-lock, just like Gramps' study. In other words, it was unlocked before the crime, with a rock or something wedged in so that it couldn't close completely. Then, someone gave the key to Maria. The lock was automatic, so it's possible to make a theory where the key wasn't needed!"
"There were no doors with auto-locks other than Kinzo's study!"
"The victims locked the door from the inside. One of the six was the culprit, and this person killed the other five, then pretended to be dead!!"
"The six were already dead by the time they were discovered! All of their deaths were homicides! All six were genuine victims and did not take part in a mutual murder! There was no simultaneous murder!!"
"There were people, Kumasawa-san in particular, who had no alibi at the time. If we assume that someone was hiding on the inside, then we've got no problems!"
"There was no one hiding in the chapel. Therefore, the shut-in murder you suggest does not work!"
"What's wrong, is that all, Ushiromiya Battleer?! It's not so easy once you get to the second game, riiiight?!"
The stakes and wedges of blue truth that I sent flying attacked one after the other, and Beato cut them down one after another with her red truth, her red treasured sword, knocking them down. But the blood she'd lost from the first game was probably serious. This intense exercise was putting an even greater strain on her. I could also see her breath grow ragged.
That's why I can't hold back now! I'll corner that witch! This time I'll break through her!
"Not yet, aah, that's no good, that's no goddamn good at all!! My twisted logic isn't finished yet!! Then what about this?!!"
"Pfft, hhahahahahahahhahahahhaha!! What the hell's thaaaaaaaaat?! Small bommmmmmmbs?! Waahhahahahahhahhahha!!"
But Beato failed to knock down the blue wedge as it flew at an angle like a breaking pitch. It let out a loud thunk... and gouged itself deep into her left shoulder. However, even as the breaking pitch hit her, her laughter didn't seem to be stopping. Yeah, I get it, even I think that theory's pretty screwed up...!!
"Hah, laugh as much as you want!! Got a problem with that?!!"
"None!! Quite a pleasurable, reckless argument!!!"
"Next up is the closed room with Jessica and Kanon!"
"No problems there! If the culprit was one of the servants, they could've used a master key. It's not even a closed room!"
"After that, there was an attack in the servant room from a mystery person who seemed to be Kanon, and Nanjo and Kumasawa were killed, right?! I had already proclaimed Kanon's death in red before that time. So, who was that Kanon?!"
"If Kanon-kun's death was proclaimed with the red, there's no way he was alive. Therefore, there's a chance that the one who attacked that group was in a disguise that made everyone mistakenly think it was Kanon-kun!"
"They would never mistakenly think any other person was Kanon!"
"Then, just like the heredity of Kinzo's name, there's a possibility that Kanon's name was inherited by someone. You could suppose that Kanon-kun was killed, a different person succeeded that name, and that this person attacked them!!"
A sound like a watermelon being squashed rang out, and a blue wedge was buried deep into Beato's left flank... Maybe it hit in a bad place, since it seemed to be really effective.
After leaning over and moaning for a while, she laughed it off as though trying to make it seem like no big deal. Yeah, I get it. That must've hurt a lot...!!
"And yet it's valid! That reckless argument is pleasurable!! Truly pleasurable. This isn't pain, it's pleeeeeeasure!!"
When Beato howled, the wedge that had pierced her was blasted away. But the wound remained, and she continued to be tormented by a fierce pain.
"You ready? I'll keep going. My blue truth for the last murder in the second game, the three who died in Aunt Natsuhi's room, should still be valid even with the 18th person X denied! Do you have a counterargument for that in red?! If you don't, the second game is all mine too!"
"No, I don't!! Fighting over such trivial matters bores me!! I'll give it to you, I'll give you the second game!!"
The instant she acknowledged her loss in the second game, two blue stakes gouged through Beato's chest this time...! The witch's lungs were gouged, as were her intestines. Her face twisted in anguish. Her body twisted as she gasped in pain.
"Does it hurt...?"
"Huuuuurt? No, no, this just tickles. Uhhyahhyahyahyahhyaaaaaaahhh!! At least compared to having your entire body torn to bits and turned into a pile of scrap meat, like your sisteeeeeeeer! I'll make you scrap meat too, then you siblings can be all mixed together like ground beef and pork, *giggle*giggle*, kyahaaaaaaaahhh!!"
"Ahh, aaaaaarrrrrrrrggggh!! I'll beat you to death, I'll tear you to bits the same way!! Next! The third game!! How long are you gonna sit around, all worn out like that?!! I've only just started knocking you down to hell!!"
"...Guh... gah, aaaaaaagghhh!! Naturally, as if something like this could wear me down! You're right. We're still just getting started! Come, let us begin the third game, starting with the six linked closed rooms! You supposedly did penetrate this closed room at the time. But then you killed off Kinzo...!!"
But now I've declared that Gramps was already dead. So I've denied my own theory myself, ironically enough...!
"There's no problem! Plenty of people besides Gramps could've committed the crime! You could even claim that all the adults holding the family conference were in on it!"
"All five master keys were discovered, each in the pocket of one of the servants! The individual room keys were found inside envelopes alongside the corpses! In short, all keys related to the linked closed rooms were locked inside the linked closed rooms!! No key could have been returned from outside the room using the crack of the door, the crack of the window, vents or any place of the sort!!"
"Then they were killed with poison gas! Even if a key couldn't pass through, gas could, right?! The murder was carried out from outside the closed room!!"
"All of them had what appeared to be gunshot wounds that were fatal! Murdering them from outside the room would have been impossible!! I shall say more with the red! When the five other than Kinzo were killed, the killer was definitely in the same room as them! I already proclaimed in red at the time that there were no suicides!!"
"After the murder of each person in their respective rooms, the culprit created a linked closed room. But the culprit had no way to return just the key to the very last room. And yet, they were able to do it. After all, the first person to discover a corpse just had to pretend to find the key and pull it from the pocket of one of the corpses!!"
She couldn't fully block the retort of that blue stake...! Beato was pushed back by the blue wedges that were unleashed on her one after another, finally failed to block one, and once again took a severe wound.
"Nnnn, nnnnggg, gyaaaaaahhh!!"
As she howled in pain, she pulled out the blue wedge that had pierced her right arm. Beato's entire body had been torn apart and pierced with blue wedges, stakes, and blades, over and over again, and now she was totally covered in blood.
But even so, Beato grinned. Cackling as though this was amusing...!
"Splendid, even that's just fine, riiiiiiight? Go be a big, happy family getting their hands dirty with mass murder, then return to Ange stained with blood that will never come oooooooooff!!"
"How could we expect anything less from the people who returned alive from the witch's islaaaaaaaaaand? Just what that mincemeat Ange neeeeeeeeeeeeeds, hyahhaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!"
"Aaaaaarrrrgggghhh, shut uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupp!! I'll kill you!! I'll tear you apart!! No need to waste your time begging for your life, I'll definitely give you the worst kind of death by my own hands!!"
"Yes, you probably could do it...!! I've explored the depths of cruelty for over a thousand years, and you probably will gift me with a fitting end for all that...!!"
"Ooh, does that hurt? Is it harsh? Or does it ticckklllllleee?!"
"Is that supposed to torment me, come on, Ushiromiya Battleeeeeeer, there are still mysteries leeeeeeeeeeeeft!!"
Beato had already countered my first powerful move, the 18th person X, by making the number of people on the island 17. But just limiting the number of people to 17 didn't overturn the theory that Aunt Eva was the culprit. I can crush most of the murders in the third game this way...!
Blood dripped from all over the body of the Golden Witch... I cornered her, this time thoroughly without mercy. This isn't a game played to decide who wins and who loses. Yeah, we aren't playing. Even the time I spend playing and fighting like this... delays my trip home. In her isolation, Ange will continue to have her heart torn apart by loneliness and sadness...! I have to go back to Ange as fast as I can!!
"...*cackle*cackle* It still... doesn't burden me... Something like this...! *cackle*cackle* It tickles...!!"
"It looks like you don't need any mercy."
"I never asked for it in the first place."
"I'm going all out."
"Do so. When our roles were reversed, I showed no mercy. So you ought to do the same when given the chance."
"Otherwise, I'll summon another isolated Ange from a different world, and this time, I'll tear off her arms and legs, stick her with a spear and roast her, okaaaaaaayyy?? Uhhyahhaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!"
"Shut uuuuuuuuuuup!! Never again!! Not my family! Not my relatives! Not any of the servants!! I won't let you make them your playthings!!"
"...I've already broken through all of the mysteries in the fourth game with the blue truth. The only one left is the very last one from the third game. Only the murder of Doctor Nanjo."
She coughed violently, spitting up blood. Her insides had been punched through so many times. It was only natural.
"In other words, the mystery of Doctor Nanjo's murder is the last line of defense for you being a witch, right...?"
"...As you say. If you defeat that, it will mean that all of my mysteries have been defeated. Unless I counter one of your truths with some new red truth... or present a new mystery, I... will die."
"...You don't look like someone who's been pushed into a corner, standing on the brink. You still have some kind of hidden pitch up your sleeve, right...?"
"Well, who knows...? I have already tired of a too-long life after a thousand years...! I've started to think that having this life ended by a rival like you, whom I stumbled upon at the very end, might not be so bad."
"*cackle*cackle* You can do it, can't you? Do it. I beg you, kill meeeeeeeee. I'm always the one killing, and I've never had the experience of being kiiiiiilled!"
"I've killed the 18 of you hundreds of times, but I haven't been killed myself even once, so I wanted to experience it just once myseeeeeeeeelf, hehihihihihihihihi!!"
It was a graceless show of boldness, unchanged from before. But blood dripped from her mouth, her once beautiful dress was covered with holes, and blood poured from all over her body, making her physical appearance stand in sharp contrast to her attitude. Maybe the shot she'd taken to the flank was still tormenting her, since she was still pressing down on it unconsciously, without a trace of grace. But I've got no time for pity. As long as I feel sympathy for this witch, my family and I won't be released from this place. Until I defeat her, we won't be able to go home...!!
In the outside world, it may be possible for even enemies to understand each other when circumstances change. But pure evil does exist. Evil that brings misfortune just by existing... and is to be spared no compromise. Just by its continued existence alone, it's evil!!
"I don't pity you. Just like how you didn't show pity for any of us...!"
"...Well, of course. All of you are just pieces in the game! It's just unbelievably fun to think about which six to kill in the beginning, how to kill the next two, and whether I can find a much, much more grotesque method of murder, you seeeeeeeeeee??"
"Hey, Battler, I've reformed a little, so forgive me this time too. If you do, I'll change my methods of killing into something a little better, okay? I'll listen to how you want them to be killed and in what order, got iiiiiiit?"
"It's so fun, toying with people's liiiiiiiiives!! I'm sure you could think of a way to turn Ange into a pile of scrap meat much, much more thoroughlyyyyyy!! Come, Battleeeeeer!! Try to expose the truth of Nanjo's murdeeeeeeeeeeeer!!"
The end of the third game. It was announced in red that the survivors at that point in time--Battler, Eva, Jessica, and Nanjo--were all uninvolved with Nanjo's murder. And it was also proclaimed that he was murdered directly, by someone before his eyes. All other people had the strongest possible alibi... by having their deaths proclaimed in red... I'll... break through this, without using the 18th person X...!
Think, don't stop thinking...!! Her red doesn't only bind me, it's also supposed to be her weak point...! I've got to somehow use it against her...! That's right... there's still a gap...!
Yeah, this way, I can break through it. This way, Beatrice's legend of the witch is finished.
"How's that, Beatrice?!"
When he forcefully asked that question, there was a terrible sound that could only be likened to that of a compressor, and a blue stake that was as thick as a log... appeared from under the earth and skewered the Golden Witch, Beato, pulling her up into the air... Ugly tearing sounds rang out, and each time, a blue stake or wedge would appear and pierce Beatrice's body. When that finally ended... Her tragic form was exposed there, pincushioned by more than ten stakes and wedges all over her body and dripping with blood, dangling and crucified...
There was none of the dignity of the brutal witch who had sneered at the honor of the dead and toyed with and killed hundreds of the living. The rain, which had started falling at some point, quietly tormented the crucified witch...
As Battler heaved with his breathing, he waited for some kind of answer from the Golden Witch... Although it wasn't long, it took the witch a bit of time to show any signs of life...
"...You got... what you... deserved. Now you can experience a portion of the pain felt by all those you've killed..."
Even as he said that, it seemed Battler had lost a little of his momentum at this extremely pathetic sight. Even if it was an enemy, he couldn't look straight at a woman exposed in such a brutal fashion. But even so, unless he destroyed Beatrice, this battle... wouldn't end...
"...Battleer... I beg you... hic..."
Huh...? Beato let out a sob...
BGM: Thanks for Being Born
"...What are you... asking... of me...?"
"...End it... Release me... from this pain..."
Beato's expression... was soaked with blood and tears. Battler certainly had been tricked by her at one point. So he was probably able to suspect that her expression... that even her tears were an act.
However, Battler... believed in those tears. After all, those tears... had the red of truth mixed in with them.
"...What should I do? What can I do to end your pain...?"
Were those tears from pain and torment, or else... Either way, that pathetic expression... was painful for Battler to look at, even after burning with such anger...
"...Quickly, go back... to... Ange..."
"I'll listen to your request. Not so that I can go back, but to end your pain."
"...Than... ou... Battleeer... nnnngggggg..."
In her last breaths, Beato summoned up all of her remaining strength... and managed to close both of her hands into fists...
A red light began to gather at those fists. Then, she lifted her arms, as though appealing to the heavens for something...
The red light around both her arms gradually began to strengthen...
After saying that much, her face tilted to the side a bit. Then, her right arm lost its light and flopped down. But her left arm alone did not lose its light... and remained held out towards the heavens.
Then, before Battler's eyes, another Beato appeared with a faint form, transparent like a curtain. The crucified Beato had already lost consciousness. However, the newly-appeared faint Beato quietly looked at me, her eyes expressionless... and spoke.
"...And right now, there is no one other than you on this island. The only one alive on this island is you. Nothing outside the island can interfere."
...I... understand. This is... the final mystery Beatrice will be able to make as a witch. She's... trying to offer it to me. Entreating me... to solve this final mystery... and kill her...
"Do it... I'll accept... your final mystery."
"...You are all alone on this island. And of course, I am not you. Yet I am here, now, and am about to kill you."
"Like a souped up version of Doctor Nanjo's murder... So...?"
"Is that... your final question?"
...Yeah, I get it, Beato. I'll... kill you, don't worry...
I also... slowly held her head.