originally posted at https://canmom.tumblr.com/post/163185...

For all the shouting and finger-pointing in the meta setting, not a lot actually happened in the narrative. Now, it’s 7:30, and Jessica and Kanon’s bodies have yet to be found. This chapter is called “A Suspect”. Is Beatrice not the only real suspect?

Kumasawa arrives and learns of the murders. I hope they don’t suspect her.

Rosa goes to talk to Kinzo about the situation. She assumes he’ll be ranting about the chapel being defiled. In the entrance hall, she sees a light…

A gold butterfly in the entrance hall to Kinzo's manor. Narration: ‘It was a single fluttering gold butterfly. …It fluttered around and sparkled. That butterfly quietly danced without a sound.’

We get an animated gold butterfly.

As Rosa leaves the room, we see Beatrice plotting the next murder. She’s changed back into her original dress.

Kumasawa tries to lighten the tension but just makes it worse. As before, they conclude the culprit couldn’t leave. We get a repeat of the discussion from the first game, about why the culprit led them to discover the murders.

George raises the point that splitting the party - leaving Jessica and Kanon alone in Jessica’s room - is not exactly pro strats. But they don’t go look yet, instead discussing the gold.

Kumasawa notes that she overheard Krauss saying only one bar was ever found as evidence of the Legend of the Gold, and he has it. So where did the other two come from? It lends credence to the idea that Beatrice, human or witch, knows where the rest of the gold is, as Battler realises. This makes it unlikely that it’s a ploy to discover the gold by threatening the family.

Maria asserts that Beatrice doesn’t want them to find the gold, just to solve the riddle. Battler hits her (fucking hell, every time) and demands to know what Beatrice is planning. Maria just says she’s a magic witch, who can create gold, bread, and of course sweets.

Rosa comes in and hits her. Stop fucking hitting this nine-year-old girl! She hits her twice more to get her to stop saying ‘uu’. Nanjo challenges this (thank you Nanjo) but Rosa tells him to stay out of it.

CGI of Rosa holding a sawn-off rifle, with a stern expression on her face.

Also, she brought the gun.

They once again follow a ‘bunch up in one room’ plan. Battler offers to go get Jessica and Kanon, accompanied by George and Gohda. Rosa declares that, as in the ‘wolves and sheep puzzle’, they’re safest if they all move as a group. I think that’s a transporting across the river puzzle (of which there are many variants, such as 'missionaries and cannibals' if you feel like wolves and sheep aren't colonialist enough for you), not the chessboard puzzle? Maria is about to explain, but doesn’t get to.

They make their way through the house in a herd. Naturally, when they find Jessica’s room, they find the First Pentacle of the Moon on the door. And as expected, when they get inside, they find Jessica with the Stake of Asmodeus embedded in her back.

CG of Jessica lying on the floor with a small spiral stake burried in her back, and a pool of blood around her.

We even get a CG of it.

I’m really scared they’re going to frame Kanon for the murder. That would just be too cruel.

Rosa says to search the room in case someone is still hiding. Good thinking - this was part of my episode 1 mundane beatrice hypothesis.

They don’t find Kanon, or the culprit. They do find Jessica’s key. Of course, Kanon had a master key, so if Beatrice is trying to frame Kanon, this could be part of it. Still, Kanon - the narrator has said - is already dead, so this would be posthumous. And Beatrice likes to take credit for her murders. I don’t know.

Genji confirms that each servant has a master key, and there’s no spares.

Meta!Battler interrupts, saying last time there were many master keys. Meta!Beatrice says this was disadvantageous to her, so she’s removed them from the game to preemptively defeat any such argument. She gives us a red-text: ‘the only master keys are the ones held by the servants, one key each’.

Rosa has indeed declared she knows someone is either the culprit, or an accomplice of the culprit. The others assume she means Kanon.

This seems like flawed reasoning. It’s entirely possible given what these characters know that the culprit murdered Kanon outside the door, stole Kanon’s master key, and used it to enter the room and kill Jessica and lock up behind them. Then, they would have moved Kanon’s body and disposed of it elsewhere.

Rosa’s actually taking a different tack. She accuses Kumasawa, who arrived on the situation late, of killing Jessica and Kanon.

It’s not impossible, but it’s hardly a proof given the possibility outlined above. Kumasawa seems unlikely to be able to overpower Kanon and Jessica, both young people.

Ah, but she’s just fishing for a confession. When Kumasawa denies, she moves to accusing Gohda, who was the last person to see Kanon and Jessica alive. This is plausible I guess? But there’s not enough evidence to narrow it down.

Rosa does not accuse Sayo or Genji, since they have alibis from Kinzo.

Rosa then comes back round to Kanon. She suggests since Jessica was stabbed in the back, she’d let down her guard - presumably around Kanon. She presses Gohda and Kumasawa again about whether Jessica would invite them in. They both deny being that close to Jessica.

Rosa argues, therefore, it must have been Kanon. Ugh, this is bad reasoning. And not just because she’s accusing the character I am identifying with, and I’m projecting all the times witch hunts are made against ‘problematic’ trans women. [Note from the future: goddamn yeah I was projecting pretty hard! Poor dear.]

Anyway, Rosa admits that until they find a corpse, they can’t determine whether Kanon is a victim too. But she’s confident it’s Kanon, and nobody else wants to blame someone in the room.

The cousins finally speak up in defense of Kanon’s character. But they don’t have an alternative explanation.

Meta-Battler comes in. Beatrice presses him with a dilemma: he can blame the mystery guest, but she implies that person could only have done it with magic. Or he can blame Kanon, which would feel like a betrayal. Come on, Battler, this is easy: the mystery guest killed Kanon and took the key.

Given the discussion between Battler and Beatrice, it’s obvious meta-Battler did not watch the confrontation between Kanon/Jessica and Beatrice that we saw.

The narrator pontificates about humans being social beings, choosing to ‘sacrifice’ Kanon rather than blame the people around them.

Something interesting happens. In first-person narration, Battler says he wonders what Jessica and Kanon would say if they saw this. Then they show up transparent - and the narration acts like it knows how they died, mentioning how Jessica is crying in the chest of Kanon, the ‘person who put [his] life on the line to fight for her’. When they speak, there’s a filter applied to make it sound distant.

The ghosts of Jessica and Kanon. Jessica is saying “Then, ……that witch erased your corpse for fun ……! To call you the culprit because of that, it’s horrible, it’s too horrible!!

Given this knowledge, this probably isn’t just narrative!Battler’s imagination.

Jessica furiously predicts Kanon will become a scapegoat for all the future crimes, and [his] heroic deeds won’t be remembered. Beatrice shows up - presumably invisible to the people in the room - to taunt them some more.

And then narrative!Battler declares - what else - it’s no goddamn good! Dramatic music kicks in.

Battler in the Meta view talking to Beatrice, with himself and Rosa in the background. He’s saying “………Honestly, I’ve gotta throw my hands up there. …Seriously, why’d I say it’s no goddamn good?

In an interesting twist, narrative!Battler comes to a different conclusion than meta!Battler here. But meta!Battler decides he needs to take responsibility for ‘his’ actions.

Narrative!Battler dismisses the accusations against Kumasawa and Gohda based on their characters. He says he’s not going to argue on a process of elimination, just that it’s impossible for Kanon to be the culprit.

Meta!Battler catches up with whatever narrative!Battler was thinking. Their arguments develop in parallel, which is a cool piece of writing. Narrative!Battler challenges Beato to assert in red that Kanon had a master key.

Narrative!Battler caught a detail I didn’t: Jessica took Kanon’s master key when entering Beato’s room, and never gave it back - at least as far as Gohda recalls. If they search Jessica’s pockets and find a master key, it proves Kanon wasn’t responsible. …and they find one!

Well, that’s interesting. Because that also scuppers the ‘Beato killed Kanon and took the key to enter the room’ hypothesis. And leaves open the question of how the door was locked if both keys were inside the room…

Anyway, Rosa still thinks Kanon is suspicious, but narrative!Battler insists on the presumption of innocence.

This, of course, suits Beato’s purposes perfectly. By accounting for all the master keys, that raises the question of how the door was locked with Kanon and Jessica inside.

Beato drops three red axioms:

That’s quite a puzzle. I’m going to see if I can answer it before Battler does.

But this is already quite long, so let’s leave that to the next post.


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