Hey friends, back to back updates, isn’t that exciting~

Our next chapter opens with Rudolf and Krauss. It seems that the reason they want to go out is—at least ostensibly—to fetch food, since there is very little in the guesthouse. Krauss and Natsuhi are against it.

Rudolf proposes to bring Hideyoshi, reasoning that they should be safe with three armed people and two of them men, and noting that he was not attacked when recovering Rosa’s corpse. Hideyoshi is concerned about Eva, saying she won’t be able to take medicine on an empty stomach.

I’m not entirely sure this is about food though. Like, why take Hideyoshi and not Krauss? Or better yet, go the whole way as a big group?

Krauss: ......Be careful. ...Under normal circumstances, I would want to go too. ...Being a man, I despise this title of eldest brother that prevents me from lending a hand in an emergency like this.

Apparently Krauss thinks he has to hold the fort anyway. It all got very gender in here, with a sort of weird little joke about Hideyoshi’s masculinity.

Their strat is to leg it across the rose garden, moving at speed in case the adversary is armed with a gun. It seems that despite my suspicions, they are just going for food after all.

The question is, which group will Eva Beatrice target? If the goal is to minimise the number of doubting humans, Krauss and Natsuhi will be the softest target, and they’re also both on Eva Beatrice’s target list, unlike Hideyoshi. (Not clear where Nanjo is right now!) The narration is following the three on the food run though, so it makes me think they’re going to have an encounter.

The two guys start doing a little bit of military larp, shouting orders and such. “It’s just how men are.” claims Rudolf. C’mon, let Kyrie be a dork too. In any case, sure enough, here is Eva Beatrice. She claims that rather than hunger, it was her magic that drew them out. Hmmmm.

EB seals the mansion from the outside world (which suggests the effects are about to pop off). Ronove gasses her up a bit:

Ronove, in front of the Beatrice portrait: ......Spectacular. To think that even though barely half a day has passed since you succeeded the Endless Witch, you can use magic this well. ......That talent surprises me. It is almost as though you were born a witch.

She’s also even more excited for sadism after her conversation with Beatrice. Unfortunately, it seems Beatrice’s intervention has had the exact opposite effect. However, Ronove countermands this: apparently Beato can still give orders, and one of them is refrain from ‘unnnecessary cruelty’. Additionally, using the Seven Sisters is actually a ‘mandatory’ protocol of the resurrection ritual, not merely a particular choice of how best to gouge someone. Inchresting.

Didn’t Beato already fire off most of the Seven Sisters though? I guess the corpses are still in the mansion, so it should be fairly easy to retrieve them. Eva Beatrice quickly spots the loophole that, with Endless Magic, she can toy with her prey as long as she wants if the final death is by Stake.

Ronove informs us of another limitation of magic:

Ronove: .........Do as you wish, ...is what I would like to say, but I must insist that it would be wiser to exercise some restraint in this instance. They are holding guns. Weapons with a high anti-magic power, such as guns, are the natural enemies of witches and demons.

Truly the great leveler!

This is definitely surprising. Though it does go some way to explaining how Rosa could hold out so long against an army of demons. That said, Natsuhi confronted Beatrice with a gun in the first episode, and lost comprehensively, so there must be more to it than that.

Ronove explains that a bullet is as deadly to a witch as to a human, and so ‘protective barriers and furniture’ should be used to guard this weak spot. That’s also interesting. Can Endless Magic not be used on the self as a healing factor? Ronove further explains that a barrier strong enough to deflect bullets requires ‘much in preparation and rituals’, and that Eva Beatrice is ‘ill-prepared’ to summoning bulletproof furniture!

Revelations are coming thick and fast here!

This goes a way to explaining why Beatrice didn’t ever just assault a fortified, armed group. It turns out that getting out Kinzo’s gun was a really strong play in each episode. Indeed, in most respects, witches seem to face the same limitations as a human adversary…………..

So, Ronove asks Eva Beatrice to stay out of harm’s way and let him handle things. She agrees, and calls up two random Purgatory Sisters, namely Leviathan the Envious and Belphegor the Slothful.


Actually come to think of it, they’re obviously aligned to the Seven Deadly Sins, but I don’t think we’ve ever had it spelled out which is which (although it’s heavily implied by the descriptions). However, with a little research, we find it’s based on the scheme of German theologian Peter Binsfield, part of his work Treatise on Confessions by Evildoers and Witches.

Ryukishi07 gives each one a somewhat ironic relation to the Sin—defined by it but not necessarily embodying it. Accordingly, here’s a detailed breakdown of each demon and their background as religious figures…

Lucifer
Pride.

Claims to be the strongest of the sisters, but is secretly aware that she is actually the least talented.

However, she carries herself with pride every day in an attempt to hide this fact. While living in terror of how she would be disparaged by her sisters if they were ever found out.

‘Lucifer’ actually derives from a pre-Christian term associated with the star Venus. For somewhat complicated reasons, a certain reference got translated as ‘Lucifer’ in Latin (Light-bringer), and with the narrative that the Devil is a fallen angel, it became known as his pre-fall name. Notably, although now well established, this has more to do with stories like Dante’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost than anything in the Bible. But it’s very fitting given how far this game alludes to the Inferno with Beatrice!

Leviathan
Envy.

She has a fundamentally envious and brutal personality, and is adept at finding others’ weaknesses.

However, she is better described not as envious, but as a crybaby who wants her own way.

‘Leviathan’ is a monster referred to several times in the Tanakh. Christians started associating it with the figure of the Devil, and later Thomas Aquinas came up with the idea that Leviathan should be a demon of Pride.

Satan
Wrath.

Satan takes on the role of hte ever-angry class president of the sisters.

Diatribes tend to fly out of her mouth in rapid succession, so she is feared by the other sisters. Because of this fear, no one is willing to talk back to her, and she is actually quite lonely.”

‘Satan’ is a well established name in Christianity for the devil, which suggests usually Satan and Lucifer would be the same entity, but hey, Binsfield demurs on that. The term comes from the Hebrew שָׂטָן, meaning ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary’, and has a distinct role in Judaism and Christianity. In Judaism, insofar as ‘the accuser’ is identified as a person and not just a metaphor for natural evil influences, he is a servant of God with a specific purpose. Christians on the other hand tend to cast him as an enemy of God, potentially with the narrative of Lucifer defecting as an origin story.

Belphegor
Sloth.

Belphegor is taciturn, assiduous, and the most trusted of the sisters as furniture.

However, that is partly because of her demonic desire to turn her masters into lazy pigs. In that sense, she could probably be called the most demon-like of all the sisters.”

Belphegor’ is not really a significant religious figure, mostly attested by demonologists like Binsfield. Funnily enough, Machiavelli of all people wrote a novella about him in 1549. In Machiavelli’s novel, he comes to Earth to get married, but has a bad time and fucks off, denouncing marriage.

Mammon
Greed.

Mammon is extraordinarily quick to take what she wants, and she never holds back, not even for her sisters.

Her motto is to be greedy and have things all to herself. For this reason, most arguments between the sisters are sparked and instigated by her.

However, among the sisters, she is the most honest about her own emotions, and the most devoted to trying to please the opposite sex.

Greedy but a hard worker, she will spare no effort to have a permanent monopoly on someone’s affection.

Mammon is apparently a term used in the New Testament mostly in reference to wealth and greed as an abstract concept. Only later in the Middle ages did the Christians decide to personify it. Funnily enough, 19th century occultists decided that he would be Hell’s ambassador to England. Diplomatic relations with Hell are a fun concept.

Beelzebub
Gluttony.

Beelzebub is the gourmet of the sisters and is known for being a big and picky eater.

Her personality is similar to Mammon’s and they often vie to beat each other to the prize.

She’s also always talking about food, which makes her a calming influence among the sisters.

However, she also has a disturbing desire to kidnap pretty boys and store them in the food cellar.

Beelzebub is actually derived from another religion, that of the Philistines who lived in Canaan for about 600 years up being oppressed by Neo-Assyrians… until 604 BC when Nebuchadnezzar II of the Neo-Babylonian Empire subsumed their polity and genocided them. The term Ba’al-zəbûb is translated as ‘Lord of the Flies’, but this might be a derogatory term applied by the Hebrews to a more generically positive term Ba’al-zəbûl, ‘Lord of Heavenly Dwelling’. From the mentions in the Tanakh, it seems he was the god of a rival ethnoreligion viewed by the ancient Hebrews with disdain.

He also gets a mention in the New Testament, where Jesus is accused of using his power against other demons. Christian theologians happily adopted him as a demon (when he’s not just another name for the Devil), but differ on which sin he’s associated with: in addition to Gluttony we have Pride (Sebastien Michaelis) and Idolatry (Francis Barrett).

Asmodeus
Lust.

As the youngest of the sisters, Asmodeus is doted upon by everyone. This might be why she alone is kept out of the way when the conversation turns a little saucy.

In the hopes that her older sisters will accept her as an adult, she is constantly on the lookout for a boyfriend.

However, she sets her sights too high, and spends her days fantasizing about the prince who will never come.

For Asmodeus, this time our source is Zoroastrianism! The source is thought to be 𐬀𐬉𐬴𐬨𐬀𐬛𐬀𐬉𐬎𐬎𐬀* *aēšma-daēva, meaning a demon of wrath. It’s not really attested in the Tanakh, but does feature in the Talmud, and also shows up in the Book of Tobit whose canonical status is ‘depends who you ask’: the Catholics and Orthodox like it but not Judaism or the various divisions of Protestantism. In that story, Asmodeus kills the husbands of a woman before she can have sex with them. It’s a pretty wild sounding story, a bird shits in a guy’s eyes. In the Talmud, meanwhile, various stories have him involved somehow with Solomon, perhaps even being tricked into constructing the Temple.

The association with lust comes from the Malleus Malleficarum by Heinrich Kramer in 1486. So ‘Asmodeus’ became one of the Goetic demons, and like most of them, gets various legions of hell assigned to him and association with months and zodiac signs by different occultists.

And that’s the full list! The ordering is slightly different, but the assignments match Binsfield. Binsfield actually wasn’t the first to categorise demons by Deadly Sin, with the previous coming a hundred years prior in 1409 and featuring a slightly different list of names. But I guess his stuck! Of the seven, Asmodeus is the only one to also be one of the 72 Goetic demons like Ronove.


OK, that aside in demonology over, let’s get back to the story. As expected, Eva Beatrice orders them to target Rudolf and Kyrie, but leave Hideyoshi alive. Once again, Beato’s order of ‘no unnecessary cruelty’ gets in her way. Ronove warns them to take care not to be hit by bullets—apparently a bullet wound can take out a Sister of Purgatory just as well as a witch.

The portrait of Beato has not been updated to Eva Beatrice, but she does this at the end of the scene.

Kyrie somehow intuits there’s a threat—an ambush. Rudolf trusts her ‘woman’s intuition’ and proposes to leave via the back door instead. However, Eva Beatrice’s seal seems to be stopping him from leaving…

Thanks to Kyrie, the humans are able to detect and open fire on the Sisters as they enter the hall. Of course, they dodge. We get a new background, of a chandelier, onto which Belphegor has hopped:

A picture of a lushly decorated chandlier. Belphegor is saying: By order of Beatrice-sama, we shall now slay you! We are ordered to take some time teasing you. You are free to resist, but know that it is useless...!

The humans’ strat on enemy contact is to split up and try to escape the mansion without the food. Rudolf mentions the ‘thirty-six strategems’, a Chinese strategy essay written in the sixth century.

Eva Beatrice manifests in the entrance hall where they left despite Ronove’s warning. Belphegor dashes in front of Rudolf on the second floor. Not quite a ‘nothing personal, kid’.

Belphegor: It's useless to try and resist or escape. .......You don't need to think about anything. Just close your eyes. I'll bring everything to a gentle finish.

Honestly, I can’t help but feel like I want to see the humans win one of these once in a while. I don’t think that will happen, since, well, arguing about locked rooms is so central. But I want to know what would happen!

Rudolf, gun levelled at the camera: You'd make a good wife. Your husband would be pleased to hear that kind of thing when he comes home tired.

Rudolf can’t resist the opportunity for a flirty quip, at least. Like father, like son!

And now we get a ‘nothing personal, kid’…

Belphegor standing behind Rudolf. Narration: But even before that bullet could hit her, Belphegor had already moved behind Rudolf's back.

But although she goes for him, Rudolf manages to pull some crazy action-movie moves and reload his gun one handed before shooting behind him. The scene cuts (after more quips) with a gunshot, but we don’t get to see if it connected.

Meanwhile, Leviathan goes for Kyrie.

Leviathan: What an idiot you are. You should have just escaped with your husband. You do know that that was your final farewell just now, right...? \*giggle\*giggle\*giggle\*!

Her initial taunt is a lot meaner than Belphegor’s. Kyrie responds chill as you like, saying Rudolf will definitely come and rescue her.

Because he’s never failed to come and save me when I’m in trouble. Not even when Asumu-san was around, you see? Heheh.

Asumu-san must be Rudolf’s first wife, and Battler’s mother?

Leviathan declares that envy is ‘itself my power. My anger, my origin!’ so by making her jealous Kyrie is presumably only making her more powerful? Kyrie responds in a… fascinatingly essentialist way.

Kyrie: I agree. Envy is the source of a woman's power. ...And if you call something like that power, I won't lose to a girl like you.

Damn, Kyrie, you OK girl?

Anyway, Leviathan goes for her, and Kyrie actually manages to parry with her gun—accompanied by a sick CG of her posing with the gun. Damn, they really had fun with the CGs in this section.

Kyrie posing with her gun dramatically levelled at the camera. Narration: ......Even though the magic blade should have been able to cut through metal like butter, the gun, with its extremely high magic resistance, was able to block the blade as easily as if it were a rolled up newspaper.

Guns are really OP. Not surprising, really: if magic comes from symbolic power, what stronger symbol of rational modernity is there than a gun? There were many parts of the massive social transformation to modernity, but guns encapsulate a lot. Their manufacture is the result of an elaborate supply chain involving standardised machined parts and chemistry that is inseparable from the ‘states’ and ‘economies’ of modernity. They were used as the weapon of European colonialists, and the only real answer to them was to take up guns yourself—which everyone did. Compared to a polearm or a bow, which takes years of training and a great deal of physical strength to use effectively, a gun made killing unprecedentedly simple and efficient. The expensive metal armour which was the symbol of European feudal nobility was (eventually, not immediately) overcome as guns got more and more powerful; there was no more relative safety to be had on a battlefield. In time, we would see the symbol of the 20th-century state become the ranks of soldiers marching with guns, and the enormous sacrifices of millions of soldiers to the bomb and the gun.

In short, Chainsaw Man was right: the gun represents the scariest thing imaginable.

Not to be outdone by Rudolf, Kyrie parries several hits, kicks Leviathan into the air, and then targets her on the way down. In a wonderful display of anime time, they have time to have an exchange a couple lines of dialogue while Leviathan is in midair.

Leviathan: ……C-can you pull it? That trigger…!!

Kyrie: You know, I can be pretty brutal when my husband isn’t around.

We cut back to Rudolf. He lived! But Belphegor is still alive, and chasing him. I guess she must have dodged out of the way, but lost her advantage in the process.

Rudolf sees Eva Beatrice, and recognises that she resembles Eva.

Eva Beatrice: That used to be my name. But not now, Rudolf.

But this definitely doesn’t cause him to hesitate, and he levels his gun at her! Damn, could we actually see Eva Beatrice get shot at this point? That would blow this story wide open.

Rudolf, levelling a gun: .........Rosa, forgive me. Forgive me for sending the sister you hated down to your hell...!!

I’ve gotta say, in the closeup CG, Rudolf looks a lot younger. Anyway, he casually says he thinks Rosa’s in hell. It’s a cool line, though.

Belphegor launches a flurry of attacks, teleporting around Rudolf. It really is ‘nothing personal, kid’. Eventually, Rudolf takes some injuries and starts to lose the fight, to Eva Beatrice’s ahaha.wav.

Back with Kyrie, it seems Leviathan did not get shot. She starts a little soliloquy…

Leviathan: ………I really am dense. …Among the Seven Sisters, I was always the slowest to grow. I was always slow, always weak, always stupid.

……That inferiority complex became envy, and when I converted that into power, I gained a strength greater than that of any of the other sisters.

Kyrie: It’s important to have a moderate inferiority complex when you’re a girl. It teaches women about cosmetics and hard work.

What are you talking about, Kyrie??

Leviathan doesn’t understand why Kyrie is so chill in a fight to the death. But she concludes it’s faith in Rudolf, which she channels into envy-power. She goes in a full on anime motivation speech…

Leviathan: I’ve always been bullied by my sisters. I’ve always wanted just one of them to become my ally.

……So since you have that single ally, who you can place complete trust in, I feel the strongest envy towards you.

Kishōtenketsu argument deployed. She switches to stake mode.

Leviathan: On that day when my sisters looked down on me, I was jealous from the bottom of my heart of the other six, who had grown quickly! I was jealous for seven days and seven nights!! Behold the power and speed I ultimately gained…!! Die, Ushiromiya Kyrieeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

After a speech like that, the narrative rules of anime combat are pretty clear: Leviathan’s got this one.

…but no, Kyrie has a counter-play!

Kyrie: .........I was the one who had been going out with Rudolf-san from the very beginning. ......Asumu-san shamelessly cut in between us, ...and calculatingly got herself pregnant.

In a fight like this, the outcome has nothing to do with actual combat skill, and everything to do with who can deploy the most emotional resolution. If you can pull in a flashback sequence, so much the better. Here, Kyrie is being confronted by a literal Demon of Envy, so of course she’s going to go over her own experience of envy. But you need more than that, and sure enough, Kyrie drops something crazy…

Asumu-san was carrying Battler-kun. And at the same time, I was also carrying a boy. …As fate would have it, our delivery dates were on the same day.

I can’t believe this all comes to poly drama. There’s a fair bit of leeway when it comes to pregnancy duration, but I find it hilarious to imagine that both Battler and this mysterious new cousin were conceived during a threesome. Rudolf really is the horniest Ushiromiya by a mile.

Anyway, as we could guess, Kyrie miscarried. Given this fight is ultimately about showing who felt the most jealous, that seems like a winner. Kyrie mentions, however, pregnancy with another child called Ange. So perhaps we’re about to introduce a new cousin after all!?

Kyrie kept cursing Asumu, who eventually died. She became convinced this was the result of her magic, and that she was a witch. Even so, she still feels resentful when she looks at Battler.

Gotta say, she masks it well.

Also, given it seems like everyone who thought they did magic in this story did, in fact, do magic, seems like we gotta add Kyrie to the witch roster.

Kyrie says that easily trumps seven days and seven nights.

Kyrie: Don't make me laugh, you little brat.

This is too much fun omfg. So yeah, another CG with a meaner looking Kyrie—no wonder they went to all this effort! It cuts to a closeup so extreme we can see the pixels.

Kyrie: ………How could you understand the madness of a woman…whose man was stolen from her, and who has burned with envy for eighteen years…!!

Well, guess there’s a lot more to Kyrie than just being the smart one.

The upshot of all this is that Kyrie’s excessive level of envy acts as a denominator to Leviathan’s speed. The narration computes that Kyrie was jealous for 938 times the duration of Leviathan, which divides her perception of speed from 1,225km/h (the speed of sound) to some much lower figure. Which gives us Leviathan’s apparent speed as a mere 1.31km/h, or \(0.36\unit{ms^{-1}}\). Definitely did not expect I would be breaking out the LaTeX in an Umineko post. The narration compares this to ‘a baby crawling on the floor’.

Kyrie: You’re completely lacking in both love and envy.

……Come back when you’re older, darling.

There’s another gunshot, and I think we can reasonably assume this one connects. Damn, Kyrie.

This is, I think, possibly the point where we can mark Kyrie awakening as a witch. It will be interesting to see if this persists in future episodes. I am increasingly suspecting that every single one of the Ushiromiyas will have magic powers, and the key to these magic powers is essentially playing up their character traits as much as possible. But we’ll see.

Back to Rudolf. He’s pretty injured. Eva Beatrice compares him to Ikezukuri, seafood served alive.

Rudolf asks as a final favour to do a Western-style gun duel, walking three paces before turning and firing. Belphegor, who is noted to have an uncommon sense of integrity, agrees. She informs Rudolf that she can teleport faster than the time it takes for a bullet to clear the gun barrel. Rudolf takes the opportunity to flirt a bit because, that’s Rudolf!

Rudolf, in close up against Belphegor: ......You are a person of integrity. And a good woman. You might just steal my heart away.

I am reminded of something my friend Azdoine wrote:

rudolf is so deeply hilarious to me because out of all the ushiromiya siblings he’s probably the only one capable of accepting his kids regardless of who they grow up to be. but he’s also a slimy womanizer and generally a terrible person in every other way imaginable

ange could come out to rudolf as a lesbian and he would immediately start trying to bond with her over her sexual conquests. rudolf could find transmasc battler taking shady mail-order DIY HRT testosterone and he would start teaching him pickup artistry to score chicks with. rudolf could discover that battler was in a 24/7 D/s relationship with beato as her bottom bitch and he’d congratulate his son on being a chip off the old block

battler could come out to rudolf as a trans woman and rudolf would immediately start treating her like his daughter because he’s fucked enough trans girls to know that they’re not men

Judging by this episode, this seems right on the money lmao. And hey, no surprises there, but I finally know who this Ange person is.

Anyway, they walk three steps as agreed. But Rudolf has a trick: he lined up the duel so that if Belphegor dodged his shot, the bullet would hit Eva Beatrice. Well fucking played, Rudolf. The metaphor of ‘forking the rook and the king’ returns. So yeah, Rudolf wins this fight and kills Belphegor, and Kyrie seems to have killed Leviathan. Rudolf’s parting words are, well…

Rudolf: ……You were a good woman. Go to heaven before me and do your makeup. I’ll definitely come and talk you up.

Rudolf declares checkmate as Kyrie enters and they line up shots on Eva Beatrice. Hmm. I don’t think she’ll go down that easily—Ronove is still in play. He shows up and suggests a retreat! Damn, OK. Guess Ronove isn’t in a hurry to take a bullet.

Right now, Rudolf has I believe fired four shots, and Kyrie two?

Eva Beatrice declares her intent to call in new furniture. Given what Ronove said earlier, that seems sus, but hey, she has consistently been ‘better than expected at magic’…

Eva Beatrice: ..........Well, it's only natural that it'd be impossible for the PRedecessor's worn out furniture. ......I have to have new furniture, suitable for me. I used them out of obligation, ......but I've always hated hand-me-downs.

Time for an Ikea trip, then.

One thing I notice from listening to the dialogue is the invocation begins

さ、さ、 (sa, sa,) お出でなさい (oidenasai)

This phrasing qualifies as sonkeigo language used in professional contexts—much more polite than conversational Japanese tends to be.

A similar phrasing was used earlier when instructing objects to repair themselves—the ‘please, try to remember’. If I’m transcribing right from memory, it is…

さ、さ、思い出してご覧なさい (sa, sa, omoi dashite gorannasai)

It seems that magical invocations tend to begin this way.

Unfortunately, Rudolf and Kyrie think they have Eva Beatrice cornered, and threaten her rather than just shooting her down there and then. So I don’t think we’re going to get to see what happens when humans win, but the upside is, hey, new characters!

Eva Beatrice really flexes at this point, doing all the things Ronove declared impossible. She creates a bulletproof barrier and summons two bunnygirls in parade uniforms.

Two new characters: girls with pink and blue-green hair, both wearing smart white and grey uniforms with gold piping and military collars. Both are saluting. Narration: The butterflies peeled off and flew away, and beneath them, furniture in the shape of girls showed themselves.

I’ve got to hand it to Eva Beatrice, bunnygirls are really in right now. (Bunny boys even more so!) Ronove identifies them as “the Chiester Sisters troops”—the “Pendragon’s Memorial Troops”. Of course, I immediately looked this up to see what it’s alluding to, but the only references that appear on Wikipedia are from Umineko. However, the mention of Pendragon suggests Arthuriana may be impending. One thing that stands out is the red, white and blue pattern on each of their armbands. These resemble the flag of Iceland. Coincidence?

They introduce themselves as Chiester410 (pronounced Chiester Yon Ichi Maru [Four-One-Zero]), the blueish-green haired girl on the right, and Chiester45 (Chiester Yon Jyuu Go [Forty-Five]), the pink-haired girl on the left. Chiester410 promises they can handle anything from reading a picture book to going on a friendship date or shooting down a meteorite. They seem quite childish in personality, with Chiester45 concerned that the ‘Dragon King’ will be mad at them.

Kyrie gets an immediate sense that she can’t take these guys, and tells Rudolf to run for it. But it’s too late. Eva Beatrice orders them to hunt down the two new arrivals and bring them to her for a resurrection-kill party. Lucifer manifests to say “hey Beato says you can’t” and Eva Beatrice shuts her down with a look: guess she’s not playing along anymore. And judging by Ronove’s reaction to her summonings, Beato is not strong enough to beat her in a witch fight.

Chiester410 calls up some kind of… holographic interface?

Large red text, flipped to read from right to left, saying 'Booting firing guidance system, Initiating data collection..., Forming firing curve...' along with smaller text in Greek. Chiester410 says: 410, data received. Target acquired. Correcting for terrain. Forming firing curve, control points adjusted. Data link to 45.

So, compared to the broadly early modern occultist aesthetic preferred by Beato, these guys are much more modern, talking like scifi military androids of some sort—which I suspect they might well be. The red text consists of English, and English transcribed into the Greek alphabet. Here it is flipped:

The same image flipped for readability.

It says:

Γυιδανχε σψστεμ ωερσιον 07
Booted firing guidance system.
Γοοδ μορνινγ.
Ωελχομε το τηε φιρινγ γυιδανχε σψστεμ.

Initiating data collection…
σχαννινγ. Χολλεχτινγ δατα.
Πλεασε δοντ ωοββλε. Μεσσ τηισ βιτ υπ ανδ ιτ ωοντ ηιτ.

Forming firing curve…
Φορμινγ φιρινγ χυρυε. Ιμ γοινγ το υσε α Βεζιερ χυρωε.
Τηισ ισ α πλαχεηολδερ, σο δοντ ρεαδ ιτ οκ. Ιτσ φυστ ρανδομ.
Ινχομπρεηενσιβλε τεξτ λικε τηις ισ χοολ ισντ ιτ. Κινδ οφ νιχε.

Firing preparations complete
Φιρινγ πρεπαρατιονσ κομπλετε. ϑυστ φιρε ανδ ιτλλ ηιτ.
Ιφ ιτσ περφεχτλυ χαλιβρατεδ. Ι ηοπε ιτλλ βε οκ. Ιτσ φυλλυ αυτο.

Accuracy 97.89%
Περχενταγε ωιρτυαλλυ γυαραντεεδ το ηιτ.

Typing this out with this online Greek keyboard ran into a few issues where this keyboard is smarter than whatever they used, so for example, sigmas at the end of words would be changed into an alternate form, and ‘th’ would be written correctly with theta, but hey, got there in the end.

If we transcribe it back into English, it says:

Guidance system version 07
Booted firing guidance system.
Good morning.
Welcome to the firing guidance system.

Initiating data collection…
Scanning. Collecting data.
Please don’t wobble. Mess this bit up and it won’t hit.

Forming firing curve…
Forming firing curve. I’m going to use a Bézier curve.
This is a placeholder, so don’t read it OK. It’s just random. Incomprehensible text like this is cool isn’t it? Kind of nice.

Firing preparations complete
Firing preparations complete. Just fire and it’ll hit.
If it’s perfectly calibrated. I hope it’ll be ok. It’s fully auto.

Accuracy 97.89%.
Percentage virtually guaranteed to hit.

I’m so glad I could catch these easter egg jokes lol.

The narration says that the Seven Sisters’ homing ability is just a ‘cheap version’ of this ability. We get an elaborate CG of the girls preparing to fire, which I will extract from the game’s files to show to you in full:

The Chiester girls preparing to fire. Their hands are clasped together, as if both are drawing back a bow and arrow. Chiester410 is grinning while Chiester45 is looking a determined.

It looks like the actual process of firing resembles a bow and arrow. And indeed, it creates a homing arrow which heads out on a precise intercept course to hit Rudolf and Kyrie. The narration notes…

However, among mythical-class soldiers, it was a weapon used by pretty much everyone. It was very commonplace for them, …and very extraordinary for those of the everyday world.

So this suggests there’s some kind of high-tech multiverse out there where people are playing rocket tag with like, Culture level of weaponry. Lovely! It shoots both of them right through the heart. Not exactly according to ritual stipulations, but I’m sure Eva Beatrice can overwrite that. Indeed, she goes a bit mad with guro fever.

Eva Beatrice: Come on, bring their corpses here. I'll keep reviving them until I'm bored, and try killing them in the most brutal ways I can think of. Aaah, to think that being a witch could be so much fun, that taking a life could be so much fun, ahhahahahahahahahahahaha!

Chiester410 offers some more things she can help with: babysitting, playing you in online multiplayer, shooting down a space shuttle. These girls are definitely way ahead of that 80s setting, huh! I mean, not surprising if they have the future homing arrow thing.

Beato at this point decides to show up and tell her to stop. Eva Beatrice confronts her with, why. And she finally comes out and says the reason:

Beato: I, I’m telling you, that is not the problem…! If you act so undignified and cruel, uh, …umm, some people might take it badly…

Eva Beatrice immediately deduces it’s Beato’s opponent in ‘that game’—Ronove apparently spilled the beans. Beato confirms. Eva Beatrice says, well, they shouldn’t go through you then, Beato. She explains that Battler is ‘a resident of, uh, a different world from this one, you see.’ Eva Beatrice retorts that, if that’s the case, she has no reason to care about that person. She asks to pass on the following message:

Eva Beatrice: It’s none of your business, so screw off, you old hag [obaba]. Why don’t you just give up and die forever…?

Beato reacts badly to that ‘obaba’ coming out, but Beatrice sarcastically clarifies that she’s just talking about the opponent, and couldn’t possibly be talking about Predecessor-sama. She demands to know why Beato is even playing such a game. Beato’s answer:

Beato: Well, about that, ...that is because making all humans accept the existence of witches is related to perfect control. There was a single holdout, you see, and he just won't accept me as a witch.

Eva Beatrice is, naturally, not satisfied with that answer. After all, Beato can use magic no matter what. And so can Eva Beatrice. Beato answers:

Beato: In this world, right? However, since he will not accept it, umm, …hmmmmm, how should I explain it…

Eva Beatrice: ……I don’t need an explanation. After all, isn’t this all about a different world that never crosses this one? In other words, it’s just as though that world doesn’t exist.

…………….Whether you’re fighting in a game in another world, or talking about your delusions, that doesn’t change aaanything. I’ll say it again. It has nothing to do with me. And I am already a witch.

Predecessor-sama, somehow or another, it seems that you can’t become a witch as long as this person doesn’t accept you, but I’m different. Even though no one has accepted me, I am already an excellent witch. ………Since you are my predecessor, I will formally pay you respect, but that is out of good will, not out of duty.

She declares she will perform the ceremonial murder out of respect, but she won’t be lectured on how to do it. Beato gives up…

Beato: ...I, ............I see... Then it is no longer my problem... Go and learn first-hand how magic ceases to exist when you lose your feelings of respect for it.

Eva Beatrice retorts that Beato hasn’t shown any respect for magic in her prior games. She orders the Chiesters to show Beato the door. Back out in Purgatorio, Beatrice says to herself like… I get it, if you don’t have Endless Magic, you just don’t uuundeeersstaaaandd guuuuyyyyssss…

She speaks to Virgilia, realising she’s just exactly replicated their dynamic. Virgilia makes the following comment which seems very significant…

Virgilia: …There is a single large difference between you and that child. That child may already be a witch. Of course, you are also a witch. In the world on top of the game board.

……However, to be accepted as a witch outside the game board, you need to have your opponent in this game, Battler-kun, accept you. You must have understood that when you started the game.

Beatrice admits she thought Battler was on the verge of breaking. But Virgilia explains that, rather, all the brutality only stoked the feelings of animosity, and made it all the harder to get him to accept her as a witch. She brings up again the fable of the North Wind and the Sun.

Virgilia: ...........This game is not torture to break Battler-kun. It is a test, in which you must work hard to make Battler-kun accept you.

Beato pleads for advice. Virgilia answers: think about it, you’re not even in the game anymore. We get this adorable sad Beato expression:

Beato, looking forlorn and distressed: ............But Battler's already a big ball of hostility. He won't accept witches, and he won't accept me. ......In that case, how do I make Battler accept me, then...? Are you saying that if the north wind doesn't work, ...then I should shine on him as the sun from now on...? I should, after all this time......?

Virgilia responds with more weather-themed metaphors: the sun is weak after reviving at Halloween. I think her astrology is a little off, here: the sun revives at the winter solstice in December. She seems to be possibly mixing that with Samhain. In any case. The point is that, in the long run, if Beato starts treating Battler nicer, she might just win him around.

One thing that is a little unclear to me: if Beato’s witch powers don’t extend beyond the game board, what’s with all that killing and resurrecting of Battler and other displays of power in Purgatorio? Perhaps this will be cleared up soon.

Back in the mansion, Eva Beatrice is having a great time. She talks about how she always used to fantasise about cutting open her stuffed toys. Now she can do whatever. She demonstrate the point with a little disembowelling.

At that point, Hideyoshi finally shows up with his gun. Well, this should be interesting. Eva has a bulletproof shield now, but she promised to leave Hideyoshi alone… at least as concerns the ritual. But that doesn’t stop her killing and reviving him, I suppose.

He demands to know why she did those killings. He does seem to know which killings were Eva, interestingly. Even though he was at Eva’s side during the killing of Rosa and Maria. Hideyoshi seems to have concluded Eva’s driven mad by the discovery of the gold, and demands why she wouldn’t split it up.

It turns out, Eva has told him about her alter, so he is able to work out the nature of EB. He lectures her on not growing up and learning the importance of life. Eva Beatrice goes off on one of her little speeches about the greatness of being a witch… and Hideyoshi walks up and slaps her.

I guess Hideyoshi is the Battler of this realm!

Hideyoshi, to Eva Beatrice: You dolt!! Don't act like you're cruel, not when you're really a coward and a wealklin'! I'll keep you on the straight and narrow, you wicked woman!! You dumbo! Nitwit!!

Damn, this is revealing more than I really expected about Eva and Hideyoshi’s relationship, huh.

Anyway, Hideyoshi basically tries to get Eva to front again. He calls her ‘a witch of the kitchen’ bc you know tradwife or whatever. Hideyoshi’s VA does a great job putting distress into his voice. Apparently, though, this total dismissal is not enough to negate the magic in the room, and Eva Beatrice levitates one of the guns to shoot him.

Eva Beatrice: …I told you, I’m not Eva. What a stupid, annoying man.

……You’re a pain, so I’ll switch the sacrifice for the sixth twilight to you. …If you’d just stayed hidden under a bed quivering or somethng, I’d planned to let you go. ……You deliberately came back. You really are a stupid man.

But this is all a total mood killer, so she decides to get on with setting up the sacrifices at last. She calls up Lucifer and orders her to gauge the corpses—and fucking up dead bodies rather than slaying the living offends Lucifer’s sense of pride. Still, she follows orders.

At that point we cut to Eva—the one in the bed—who has just seen Hideyoshi die in a her dream, waking up in a panic. I wonder what happens to Eva Beatrice if Eva dies?

At that point, we finally reach the end of the chapter. The next chapter is called The Definition of a Witch. Hoo boy that sounds juicy.


So.

Holy shit.

Ahahahaha woww that was quite some chapter.

I’ve been at this for hours, so let’s consider what we have learned in the next update.

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