Part 98: The Witch's Courtroom IV
True, she didn't have an actual box of cigarettes, but at a glance, it naturally looked as though Kyrie had a smoking habit...
"...Dad smoked, but Kyrie didn't. But she did walk around with just a lighter to light Dad's cigarettes."
"Ha! So what? If the husband smoked, then even if the wife didn't, it wouldn't be strange for her to be holding a cigarette."
"Maybe she just picked up the cigarette butt of her husband, who had bad smoking manners? What are you trying to say? What does this have to do with my magic? Nothing at all!!!"
"I'll say more. This is a different brand of cigarette than what Dad smokes. Sorry, Beato. Could you look in the pockets of Dad's corpse too?"
"...I-Indeed. You mean this...?"
"And so what? Maybe Kyrie is just a good girl who likes things to be clean, so she couldn't leave a fallen cigarette butt alone and picked it up? I wouldn't though!!"
"...Beato, sorry, but one more time please. Uncle Hideyoshi's pockets. In this family, only Dad and Hideyoshi smoke cigarettes."
"...I-It's here...! Is this it...?
Beato found a cigarette box in Hideyoshi's pocket, took a single one out, and held it up.
"...Checking the brand. We acknowledge that the cigarette butt is of the same brand that Hideyoshi smokes."
"A-And so what?!! How can you break my magic because you found Hideyoshi's cigarette butt in Kyrie's pocket?!!"
"...That's right. This cigarette butt is a message from Kyrie-san. No, this cigarette butt itself is the reason that Kyrie-san left the guesthouse."
BGM: Dread of the Grave - More Fear
"...Virgilia!! Reconstruct the situation! The guesthouse after it came to light that Aunt Rosa and Maria had been killed on the second twilight!!"
"There's nothing suspicious about that at all. What are you trying to say? Why are you bringing up the second twilight when we're talking about the fourth twilight and after...?!"
"Dad carried a portable cigarette butt holder with him. I'm finally starting to see why Kyrie-san went out of her way to put a cigarette butt in her own pocket."
"...It was because that cigarette butt meant something. That cigarette butt was itself a message left by Kyrie-san for us...!!"
"Th-Then let's hear it!! How do you plan to deny me with that single cigarette butt?!!"
"...As we've heard, after the second twilight, an inspection was done of all the rooms in the guesthouse. At that time, Kyrie-san found something that shouldn't exist, in a place where it shouldn't be."
"...S-Something that shouldn't exist...? What do you mean by that?"
"It's this. This cigarette butt. This was set in the ashtray of the guest room that Uncle Hideyoshi was in."
"Whaah?!?! What's wrong with there being a cigarette butt in an ashtray?!! Are you sure there isn't something wrong with your head?!"
"However, there was a cigarette butt in the ashtray. When she saw that, Kyrie-san noticed immediately. Uncle Hideyoshi was lying. She realized that Aunt Eva hadn't really been sleeping, and that she'd snuck out of the room!!"
"Repetition requested!! 'This cigarette butt was crushed out in the ashtray of the room where Aunt Eva and Uncle Hideyoshi were resting!'"
"I've finally got it... Thank you, Beato."
"...W-Was I... of some... use...?"
"Yeah, you were!! Tear it, we'll tear the mask off of the fake witch!!!"
Hideyoshi had been tasked with watching over the room to create an alibi, and during that time, he was unable to withstand the tension and smoked. Then, Kyrie had confessed that to Rudolf. She confessed that there was a good chance Eva was the culprit, and Hideyoshi was an accomplice.
"...Next, Kyrie-san proposed that they go to get food. She then asked Uncle Hideyoshi to lend a hand!! This could only mean one thing."
"Kyrie-san planned to isolate Uncle Hideyoshi and question him about the truth!!"
"Your 'Hempel's Raven' is valid. Unless the witch side counters this move, the existence of the magic that supposedly controlled Kyrie has been denied."
"Wh-What did you saaaaaaaaaaaayy?!?!"
"I-I deny it, anyway, I deny it...!! It wasn't me, noooo! It wasn't Ushiromiya Eva, Eva was sleeping in her room!!!"
"Then try saying it. Yeah, you can't say it! You can't say it this time either!!"
"What the hell is thaaaaaaaat?! I'm the one who was attacking, right?! Why am I the one being attacked now?! When did offense and defense get reversed?! I'm the one questioning you, right?! The witch, me, so whyyyyyyyyyy!!!"
"Does the witch side have a move in response?"
"...There cannot be one. There is no truth that can be accepted from a false witch dressed up with truths and falsehoods."
"You aren't qualified to call yourself a real witch!! You aren't the Golden Witch! You're a human!"
The witch howled. Her entire body was burned with the tremendous heat that denied her own magic and existence, and she let out a howl like a dragon... Her body flickered repeatedly, flashing as though Eva's figure and the witch's figure overlapped.
However, that yell was sucked into the flicker, making it return to the original form of the cruel witch.
Video: The Perfect Checkmate
"...That's right, I actually can't repulse all moves related to Ushiromiya Eva being the culprit. I may have been dragged down from the position of Golden Witch, and you might call me Ushiromiya Eva now..."
"But you know what? That by itself doesn't mean that witches and magic have been denied!! I'll teach you starting now... I'll teach you that I am not Ushiromiya Eva, nor a Human..."
"...but a real witch...!!! Take a look at this red truth!!"
Battler and Eva dashed to the front of the parlor, calling out Jessica's name. They were searching for Jessica because they had gone to the servant room, found Nanjo's corpse, and didn't know where Jessica was.
"...So, what's your point? What are you trying to say?"
"...Y-You couldn't be... Oh no..."
Beato went pale. In other words, the move the evil witch was about to make was bad enough to make even Beato go pale...
"This time, I'll give you a fatal move that you won't be able to talk yourself out of... No, I'll make this move against all Humans who support you. Listen carefully to my move."
"...St-Stop it, that move is...!"
"Beato, stay back...!! I'll take it! Come on, you fake witch!!"
BGM: Happiness of Marionette - Omake
"I'll seal you, and Humans as well, in a red barrier that most certainly cannot be escaped from. Farewell, lowly Humans. Sleep for all eternity in a absolute closed room of magic with no exits. Come on, listen carefully. Listen to the red truth."
Throw away your foolish thoughts of mysterious people hiding and committing crimes.
But if I say it that way, you might also suspect animal culprits. I couldn't stand to hear some irrational theory about how an orangutan trained to commit murder wouldn't count as a human. So, I'll change it like this.
That's how it is. Next, I'll explain the situation of all 18 people who exist on this island.
Those 15 are all dead.
That's everyone, all 18 of them!
"...Wh-What did you say...? D-Dammit, you don't mean..."
"...And I know what you're thinking. Your next move will be this, right? There's also a chance that Jessica is the culprit! But too bad, I'll slice it up in red before you try!!"
"W-Wait a second!! That doesn't make sense!! There were only three humans, then a murder occurs, and none of those three were involved?! That's insane!!"
"No, umm, th-that's right! What about multiple personalities...?! Just like how you were originally another personality of Aunt Eva's, let's say Jessica had another, witch-like personality, which took the name of 'someone other than Jessica' and killed Doctor Nanjo...!!"
"No matter what kind of personality she was possessed by, murder could not be carried out with her body! I wonder if you'll be satisfied if I say it this way?
"Y-You've got to be kidding me!!! I mean, everyone else is definitely dead, right?!!"
Then... all that's left... is the 'Doctor Nanjo Suicide Theory', right?! And the trap theory! The culprit was already dead, but a trap that they had already prepared went off..."
"But wait!! There are only three survivors! You said in red that everyone else is dead! You basically confirmed the life or death status of all 18 people. Furthermore, the existence of a 19th person has already been denied in red...!!"
"In other words, no one can exist except the three survivors!! And yet, a fourth person other than those three appeared before Doctor Nanjo!! How could a person other than us appear and murder Doctor Nanjo when no 19th person exists?!?! Insane!! You're lying!! You're lying with the red!!!"
"Right now, I'll state it clearly. The one who appeared in front of Nanjo was me. A witch."
"...The Golden Witch, who can't be explained away with the 18 humans!!"
"V-Virgilia! Ronove...!! Isn't there a contradiction in this situation?! Is she really telling the truth with red?!"
"...What an... elaborate and precise cornering..."
"H-How should I make a move against her...? Virgilia...! Aren't there any moves...?!"
"...I... cannot think of anything..."
"...And you, Ronove?!"
"...My apologies. However, in these last thousand years, I have never seen... such an elaborately beautiful game board layout."
"...I hate to admit it, but it's beautiful... What a... beautiful... checkmate made in red..."
...Forget surrendering, they were impressed at this perfect checkmate, which simply had to be admired... When people accept defeat from the bottom of their hearts... It gives rise to neither regrets nor humiliation. Nothing is born except feelings of respect...
I... no longer knew... what was what anymore. There were absolutely no weak points in her red. She had said in red that all of 15 people had died. She had said in red that no people existed other than the 18. In other words, no more than three people: me, Jessica, and Aunt Eva, existed. And even though none of those three people were the culprit, Doctor Nanjo was killed. And without a doubt, Doctor Nanjo's death was a homicide, he was murdered by 'that person' openly from in front of him...!
And she's saying that 'that person'...is a witch...?!!
"The culprit who killed Nanjo was not an animal or anything of the sort. That has already been dealt with in red, right? Everything other than humans has been completely removed from consideration. Even things like robots don't work."
"...In other words, it was me. The Golden Witch, Beatrice!!"
His soul still refused to surrender... However, his knees had already... started to accept surrender...
"Kuhhihhihihihihihihihihi! Oh, did you kneel...? That's right, you're already starting to understand. The Golden Witch does exist. And that Golden Witch, Beatrice, is me...!!"
"Come on, praise me. Now, praise the resurrection of a true witch. Now, praise the resurrection of the Golden Witch, Beatrice!! On the ninth twilight, the witch shall revive, and none shall be left alive...!!!"
"Daaamn iiiiiiiitt... I don't... understand...!"
"After... being so thoroughly immobilized by the red, I don't... have a clue anymore...!"
"...B-Battler... D-Don't lose heart... You and I... promised that we would fight each other again, right...? Will you surrender here...?! Will you disappear in a place like this before fighting with me again...?!"
"I don't want to break that promise... However, I can't think of any move to deny her...!! In the first place, this isn't even a puzzle! Nothing exists outside the suspects, and all of the suspects are innocent! I was told that they were innocent in red, right?! And also that it was a real homicide, and that the culprit was human, and that they did appear before Doctor Nanjo's eyes and kill him! I give up, there's nothing I can do...!!!"
"Please, Battler, don't give up, don't lose heart...! If you stop thinking, it automatically becomes your loss. I'm begging you, don't lose heart... I'm also cheering you on, so don't lose...!"
"I can't think of anything anymore...!! I find myself thinking she's gotta be a witch, who must've done it with magic, which makes all thinking pointless...!"
"It's useless, my head hurts, my brain's tired... I'm starting to think that thinking's pointless, so I should just stop...!!"
A fool's mate is, simply put, a strange way of playing chess, in which the fastest methods of losing are considered. Opening the area in front of your own king and inviting the opponent's queen in. Even though the average game time in chess is several hours, a game can be resolved in a scant four moves.
...In other words, if both sides try to win in a fight, they are compelled to take a painfully long period of time, but if one side decides to lose, the game can be ended far too easily, at any time...
"...When the human side stops thinking, it hands the problem before its eyes over to the witch, and even an apple falling from a tree can be immediately resolved as the work of magic."
"...It is the same for the witch's side. Witches use the red truth. By using that, they can explain the true form of magic with humans... and immediately lose."
"...You don't have to tell me that... You're telling me to not stop thinking, right...? However, how should I counterattack that person's perfect bright-red move...? For me, for humans... it's no longer possible..."
"...Is it... impossible...? Is it really... impossible for you, Battler...? Please, don't lose heart..."
"...Sorry... I've... reached my limit..."
Battler scratched at the floor, crying heavily. Beato watched that with a distressed face... Then she stood up and spoke to the witch.
BGM: Thanks for Being Born
"Huh? I wonder just how you plan to cut up this perfect checkmate."
"How can this checkmate, one totally impossible for Humans to break, be defeated by the likes of you?!"
"...B-Beatrice, you don't mean to..."
"Indeed. If a Human cannot make a move, I will assault you with a move I can use precisely because I am a witch..."
"A move you can use because you're a witch...?"
"...Wh-What are you planning to do...?"