Part 99: The Witch's Courtroom V
BGM: Thanks for Being Born
The teacher and the butler were both startled. I also immediately understood what it meant.
To use the red that only witches could use. To use the red to deny witches. It was like using her own sword to slit her own throat.
"...Wh-Whaaat...?! H-Hey, what are you saying? Deny witches with red...?"
"...Q-Quit talking like an idiot. If you do that, you won't get away unscathed either...!!"
"...Very well then. Right here, right now, there have never been any witches in the first place. I will strip this deception away myself."
"Aren't both of us real, obvious witches?!! Being able to use red is itself proof of witches!"
"I don't know what the definition of a witch is to you, but if you think that you alone will be able to get away unscathed, then-"
"How could I make such a mistake? I care not."
"Wh... What did you say...?"
"I never did manage to become a witch. I've done nothing more than finally begin walking down the road to becoming a true witch."
"...If what I am right now is a witch, then I'm a false witch like you, one who is merely drunk on power."
"...Rather than existing in that shabby form, I shall erase this form of mine along with you, without any regrets...!"
"...A-Are you insane?!?! S-Stop it...! I still wanna be a witch! I hate being Human...!!"
"...Witch-sama, please return to your seat. Please, receive the human side's counter from your seat."
"Wh-What are you doing?! L-Let go of me!! Don't let that woman use the red!! Make her stop!! Let gooooooooooooooooooo!!"
As the witch stood from her seat and tried to spring upon Beato, Ronove pressed down on both of her shoulders, forcing her back into her seat. And, even after that, he didn't remove his hands from those shoulders.
Denying witches was the same thing as denying magic. That included demons such as Ronove. However, instead of running away, Ronove chose to act as the facilitator for the game, and to carry out that duty for his master's sake.
"That's my line. Sorry, Teacher. Even though you taught me so much about fun magic and magic that brings happiness, I wasn't able to use it well at all. So I'll study from square one... and start over again. I am truly sorry... that you had to suffer for your stupid disciple's misconduct."
"...I had a good disciple in the very end. Go, do what you believe in."
"...But I do understand one thing. And I can say this... Beato, I don't know what you're trying to do, but stop trying to do it...!"
"You have no moves. But I have one. If we let that move get away, she will be revived as a witch in the truest sense, and this time, she will control this whole island. All nightmares will be hers to do with as she pleases, and this island will fall into the deepest hell of the evil witch's repeating delusions, for all eternity."
"...Can you permit that? Don't you care if your dear relatives are toyed with for all eternity in that witch's nightmare?"
"S-Still, you shouldn't have to sacrifice yourself... Th-This is a game between me and her."
"You shouldn't have to make your move and sacrifice yourself! I-I'll think of something! I'll surely think of a miraculous move...!!"
"So don't rush into it!!" Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh, damn iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit, I'll definitely think of one, so don't rush into iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!"
"...This game is cruel. The time limit for your consideration has already run out. I am now the only one who can do it."
"Calm yourself, Battler. I'll defeat her. I'll defeat that cruel witch with my own hands..."
"W-Wait, Beato!! Stop it, quit it!! There's absolutely no need for you to sacrifice yourself!!"
"Weren't you fighting to deny me? What a strange person. Hahahahahahahaha."
"...Let that child do as she likes. And please, watch her until the end."
"My ears...? Why...?"
"...Starting now, I will deny witches in red. I will slice up the game board that she has laid out with her red. By doing that... I will probably lose my form as a witch as well. If you also hear the red truth I speak, you will understand my true form."
"...If you alone cover your ears, that truth will not change at all. However, even so, I want you alone to cover your ears. I at least want to be a witch... in your eyes. Please."
"...Beatrice-sama, there are no problems on the witch side. Please, your move."
"Let gooooooooooooooooooo!! I won't let you get away with this either, okay?!"
"She's insane!! Do you plan on dying and taking us with you?! Stop it, don't deny it!! Stop iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!"
"...How unsightly for a Golden Witch. Okay, are you ready? I will remove your check in Battler's stead. What happened on the chessboard where 15 died and only three remained? Starting now, I will expose it in red. With that red truth, I will pierce and kill both fake witches!"
Most likely, no one would believe that the witch who had gone to the limits of cruelty... would try to leave a smile as the last expression she showed Battler. And that smile signified her last wish, that she wanted him to cover his ears... Denying witches in red... was the same as knowing her shabby form.
Battler put both of his hands against his ears... To protect her final... bit of honor as a witch, he put his hands against his ears, rejecting the truth.
After that... was a world where Battler could hear nothing. Beato was saying something in red. Even the evil witch covered her ears at those bitter contents. That was... the red truth. Words of power. Words that denied her own existence. Unique words that only witches could use, which denied witches.
Beato spoke. With the red truth, she cut up the bright-red game board that the witch had released. She explained difficult problems that could not be solved by humans, with moves that could only be solved by witches, and began cornering the witch. The 'truth' that Battler was not permitted to hear.
If Battler had broken his promise and sneakily eavesdropped... In an instant, Battler would probably have been able to become the victor in his game with Beato. He would probably have understood all the riddles on the island, all of the magic and tricks, closed rooms, spells, curses, legends, and this entire tale of anger and sadness. However, Battler would only learn what that was when he reached the truth by himself.
Yes... From the beginning, Beatrice had wished that Battler would reach that truth by himself. It was something one shouldn't reach by being told it. It was a truth that Battler would have to drag himself to by his own power. A brilliant light gathered with Beato and the evil witch at the center... and grew gradually stronger...
It was...the power of truth. Its heat and brilliance like the sun... shone on all the falsehoods that hid in the darkness, trying to deceive, and burnt them to nothing.
"...Learn that even with a mountain of gold, even with magic to split the sea, there are some things you can never obtain. Come, show yourself. Show your true form, Ushiromiya Eva!!!"
When the sun exploded and blew everything away... Eva could be seen there, holding a gun.
Without any hesitation or mercy, Eva raised her gun and pulled the trigger. As an explosive sound rang out, Battler's heart was shot through, and he fell to the floor. After going into convulsions for a short time, with blood dripping from his mouth... Battler died...
But in his last moments, he realized without a doubt that she was a murderer. And not just for killing him... There have been many murders, and I don't have a clue how they were carried out. However, while my ears were covered, Beato exposed all of them with the red, blasting away all magic. In other words, even though I didn't understand it, was that nothing more or less than proof that magic can all be explained with humans?
...Beato made me cover my ears. So I myself don't know the whole truth.
So, in other words... No, I must not think of that. If I do, then the time I spent covered my ears would be made pointless. If I'm going to regret, I can only regret my own actions. If, at that time, I'd thought of some move to spin things around and counter the witch's final move, there would have been no need for Beato to sacrifice herself.