itsalluseless: as ii clse my eyees and ram  the teapa..rty  with my shitt y blue truthh (I guess you're right)
Battler Ushiromiya ([personal profile] itsalluseless) wrote2012-12-30 04:53 am
Entry tags:

Memory 17

Memory: Wolves and sheep [ep2] (Trivial Negative)
Game: Soulmates
Day: 200
Form Friendship bracelet. 2/3 uses left.

The second game: Jessica has died. With Rosa and her shotgun in charge, the survivors have gathered in the parlour in order to wait for the next day and the storm's end. Despite the horror of the day's earlier events, everyone's feeling a little less tense, assuming they'll be safe in a group together. At Rosa's insistence, they've eaten only canned food for lunch in case the other food supplies have been poisoned.
MARIA: Uu-, Battler. Look, look. This is the 'Wolves and Sheep Puzzle'. Uu-.

As I was sitting lazily on the sofa, with no desire to watch TV, Maria came over, pulled a picture book out of her handbag, and held it out to me as she said that.

BATTLER: ......What is that book? 'Wolves and Sheep Puzzle'? ...............Let's see.

'Wolves and Sheep Puzzle'. It was a phrase that Rosa oba-san had said this morning when we had gone to call on Jessica. ...At the time, I hadn't known what it meant, and then after that, there was the uproar when Jessica's corpse was found, so I'd forgotten about it completely.

The book that Maria held out to me looked like a foreign picture book or something that had been translated. When I opened it, I realized that it was a book stuffed with riddles.

MARIA: Uu-. So there's several wolves and sheep, right? It's a puzzle to take them to the other side using one boat.

BATTLER: ......Hmmmm? I've heard of a game with rules like this. This is the wolves and sheep puzzle?

It was a very simple puzzle, passed on from long ago. Let's try posing a question.

On the right bank, there are two wolves and two sheep. There is a boat that as many as two animals can ride on, and using it, you have to move all four of them to the opposite left bank. That's the puzzle.

There are two rules. The first is regarding the boat. Even a single wolf or a single sheep can paddle it. But it can only hold two animals.

The second is regarding the wolves. When they are greater in number than the sheep in that location, they attack the sheep and it's game over.

For example, at the start of the game... The two sheep ride the boat, and go to the other side. Then one sheep gets off, and the other goes back to the first bank. ......When it does, there are two wolves on the first bank. And a single sheep returns there. When that happens, there are more wolves, so the sheep is attacked and it's game over.

On either bank or even the boat, there must not be more wolves than sheep. It's a puzzle about how to shuttle them across in the boat under these conditions.

By the way, the right answer is to move both wolves to the opposite bank in the first turn. Then one wolf comes back. On the second turn, you move two sheep to the opposite bank. Then one wolf comes back. Then on the third turn, you put that last wolf that was on the right bank on the boat and cross to the opposite bank, and congratulations, transport successful.

Partway, there may be the same number of wolves and sheep in the boat or on either side, but that isn't a problem. You only lose when the number of wolves is greater.

This book uses wolves and sheep as an example, but lots of people probably know this game with a different example. It looked like Maria wanted to test whether I too could solve the puzzles she knew how to solve, and she kept showing me different pages, saying 'solve this one' and 'this one's hard'.

What had been happening when Rosa oba-san had said the name of this puzzle...

That's right. ...When we'd decided to call Jessica, we had been talking about how many men should go, and Rosa oba-san had mentioned 'Wolves and Sheep Puzzle', saying that we should all go together......

BATTLER: ......................Wait a sec...

That could only mean one thing. ...Rosa oba-san was saying that there was a wolf among us. And when the number of wolves and sheep was balanced, we were safe, but when a situation came up where that wasn't the case, the wolves bare their fangs, that what she thought......?

At the time we had found our parents' corpses, Rosa oba-san had already suspected that the servants might be 'wolves'. She had sniffed out the possibility that, while she didn't know whether it was all of them or a group, some 'wolves' were hiding among them.

......That's no surprise. That murder scene was very elaborate. It was easy to imagine that there were multiple culprits.

And because she had reached that conclusion, when we went to Jessica's room, where Jessica had been alone with a servant, Kanon, and had been killed, isn't hard to imagine why Rosa oba-san had suspected the servants so persistently...

ROSA: All you servants. Gohda-san is going to the kitchen to clean the utensils. Just in case, would you please all go with him?

GOHDA: My apologies, everyone. Let us go as a group.

GENJI: ......Shannon, Kumasawa. We are going.

KUMASAWA: Yes, yes, coming. Hoh-hoh-ho.

SHANNON: Well then, George-san, excuse me for now.

GEORGE: Yes. .........Take care. Ah, Rosa oba-san, could I go as well?

ROSA: I'm sorry, would you remain here, George-kun? There's something I want to talk to you about.

GEORGE: ......Is that so? Sorry, Shannon. Anyway, take care. ...Don't be alone.

SHANNON: ...Yes...

ROSA: I'm sorry, Doctor Nanjo. ......I wanted to consult you about something.

NANJO: Yes, ......what could that be? ..................

The servants put the utensils and empty cans on the serving cart and started to head out into the corridor. Behind them, Rosa oba-san was talking to Doctor Nanjo about something in a small voice.

NANJO: ...Understood. I will go.

ROSA: Yes, I am counting on you.

Doctor Nanjo closed the book he had been reading, stood from the sofa, and followed after the servants...

Rosa oba-san stuck her head out into the hallway, and after seeing them leave completely, she closed the door, and spoke.

ROSA: Everyone, listen. With this, everyone here is an Ushiromiya person.

GEORGE: ......Hmm? Yes, that is true...

BATTLER: So you're saying that you've chased out all of the 'wolves'? ......Rosa oba-san.

With that one sentence, Rosa oba-san's gaze grew sharp. ...Apparently she had picked up on the sarcasm. ......Rosa oba-san laughed lightly.

ROSA: ...Your mind sure works fast, Battler-kun. I like clever kids. It means there's less to explain.

MARIA: Uu-. Battler. smart...? Can you solve this? Page 64 is hard. Uu-!

ROSA: Maria, watch TV for a while. Mama wants to talk with Battler-kun and George-kun.

MARIA: ...............Uu-.

GEORGE: Rosa oba-san. ...I heard about the puzzle from Battler-kun. ...I don't think it's bad to be very careful, but I think being too suspicious isn't good either.

ROSA: Whether the real culprit is Beatrice or not, there is reason for us to suspect that the servants are in league with her. ......In the first murder, where Nii-san and the others were killed, they were treated very brutally, right? Did that look like something that could be done alone?

BATTLER: ...............Maybe the mystery guest, Beatrice-sama worked all night, and did it all.

ROSA: And the case with the master key involving the door to Jessica's room? Isn't that proof that one of the servants was involved?

BATTLER: ......Nn...............

Only the master key could have locked the door to Jessica's room. ...In that case, we can ony suppose that one of the servants locked it...... .........No, ......wait.

BATTLER: Turn the chessboard over. ......That's strange, Rosa oba-san. After killing Jessica, why would the culprit go to all the trouble of locking the door? Since it was locked, it became inevitable that the owners of the master keys would be suspected. ......There was no need to go to all the trouble of locking the door.

GEORGE: ...Th, that's right. It's just as Battler-kun says! There was no need for them to go to all the trouble of making themselves suspicious.

ROSA: Yes. That's an interesting thought. Of course, I also thought that. ......If that's so, then the person who locked it wanted to cast suspicion on the sevants and locked that door without a master key. But that's impossible. Right?

......That's right. If there was a trick that could lock the door without a master key, this would be a good disguise aimed at casting doubt on the servants. ...If the culprit wanted us to isolate ourselves and attack us one by one, this trick would also be effective at giving rise to paranoia. However, there was no way to lock that door without using a master key...

ROSA: How can you make the claim that there's no way to lock the door without using a master key? Isn't that a Devil's Proof, like Rudolf nii-san was talking about? Maybe it
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was locked by a method we can't think of. Even if we can't think of it, that doesn't mean we can deny that there was some unknown trick.

BATTLER: ...............That's also true. So is that it? The suspicious ones are guilty...?

ROSA: I don't know the practical details of the trick, but I have a general idea. My apologies, but if we supposed that Kanon-kun was the culprit, it can be explained extremely easily. Even as to why there was no corpse.

GEORGE: Huh...... But Kanon-kun wasn't holding a master key, right?! Putting aside the other servants, at least Kanon-kun shouldn't have been able to lock the door!

BATTLER: ......I see. ...So that's why you told us to search in the closet and everywhere else right after we entered Jessica's room. ......Rosa oba-san, ...your mind works faster than I could imagine judging by your normal appearance.

ROSA: The brain speed of a little sister is always the big sister's minus 1. ...Right now there is no one I need to worry about, so I feel relieved.

George-aniki realized that she was referring to Eva oba-san, and seemed a little disturbed about how he should take that sarcasm...

GEORGE: ......I, I'm sorry. Could you explain it so that even I can understand? Kanon-kun's master key was in Jessica-chan's pocket, closed up inside a closed room. After the door was locked, it should have been impossible to put it in her pocket from outside the room no matter what trick he used...!

BATTLER: That's not it, Aniki. ......If it was done in the way Rosa oba-san imagines, ......this trick could only be used by Kanon-kun. ...And, the door could be locked without a key, while the master key was still in Jessica's pocket. ......And, as a result, his corpse would also disappear.

GEORGE: H,! How would he lock the door without a key?!

ROSA: It's simple. George-kun, when you return home, you lock the door, right? You twist the knob, *click*, right?

GEORGE: Huh...?! .........C, ...could it be,, but, ......Kanon-kun wasn't anywhere......

BATTLER: ...It looks like you've got it, Aniki. ............That's what Rosa oba-san was searching inside the room for. ......She was searching for Kanon-kun, who had locked the door from the inside, stuck the key in Jessica's pocket, and was hiding somewhere, waiting for us to walk right past him.

That was the simplest closed room trick. ...It meant he had been hiding inside the closed room after the murder had been committed. ...And if he could get out after those who discovered the body left, the closed room murder would work perfectly......

ROSA: We searched that room, but we didn't find anything. ...But, that doesn't mean we know that the room didn't have something lie a secret hidden passage that only the servants know about. We don't know where that might be hidden, but if we assume that there was a hidden passage, we can make the claim that it was impossible for anyone except him.


BATTLER: ................You know, that line of reasoning, ...I also thought that in the very beginning. ......It's the reasoning I hate the most, so I wanted to destroy it in the very beginning...

BEATRICE: *cackle*cackle*... 'Kanon was killed in this room', right? Because you seemed to suspect Kanon as the culprit, you made me repeat this to destroy that possibility right away. I understand, I understand. *cackle*......

BATTLER: ...So this is what I thought next. A theory that there were actually three people in that room. Jessica and Kanon-kun were victims. And I thought that the culprit, the guest Beatrice, was also there with them.

BEATRICE: You wanted to make it 'the human me' who committed the crime without using magic. I see, a strange theory that fits you perfectly. *giggle*giggle*.

BATTLER: ......I guessed that you killed those two, then locked the door from the inside. And you carried Kanon-kun's corpse using some secret method that normal people wouldn't notice. ......In other words, you used a secret door to escape. But you told me it in red. ...You said that there are no types of hidden doors.

BEATRICE: Hmm. No secret passage exists that you all do not know of. Was it Knox, or was it Van Dine? It seems that in mystery novels, there must be no hidden passages, no matter what. I also follow that etiquette. So even without having to thoroughly search the room, a famous detective could claim that there are no secret passages. .........*cackle*cackle*, playing as human detectives is so easy.

BATTLER: Damn you, talking so big... Thanks. Thanks to the witch's arrangement, I can claim that the room doesn't have a hidden door without searching the whole thing.

BEATRICE: Hmm. There are no hidden doors in this room. There is no way to get in or out other than the door and the windows.

BATTLER: ......Which means, ...that theory Rosa oba-san's so confident in, wrong. ...Furthermore, it's annoying, but it's impossible to disprove that theory. If you, the witch, say 'there are no hidden doors' in red, then it's settled. ......However, no matter how much a human like me tries to argue against her, Rosa oba-san probably won't accept it.
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Humans can't prove there's no hidden door. It's a Devil's Proof. ............Damn. It sure is convenient being a witch...

GEORGE: ......No way! You're calling Kanon-kun the culprit because of a hidden door that we don't know exists... I, ...can't accept that.

ROSA: You can't accept that, so you'd like to hear some reasoning that is easier to accept? .........There is none. I've been thinking the whole time. There's nothing but this!

GEORGE: ...........................

ROSA: George-kun, you had a good relationship with Shannon-chan, right? So I think it would be hard for you to accept that all of the servants are the culprits. I also don't want to believe that Shannon-chan is one of the culprits. .........But whether it's all of them or not, the culprit, or maybe an accomplice, is definitely in that group. You must not fail to see that!

BATTLER: ......If you thought that someone other than Kanon-kun was a wolf, ...then causing that uproar by saying that Kanon-kun was the culprit in Jessica's room was to see the servants' reactions...?

ROSA: Yes, that's right. And as a result, I began to suspect them even more. ......There certainly is a wolf among the servants. Certainly. And, just like the 'Wolves and Sheep Puzzle', while they are normally docile, they will surely attack if they get the chance. ......Jessica-chan was a lone sheep on the boat. ......In that puzzle, they may not attack when there is a balance between wolves and sheep, but our puzzle is different. Depending on the opportunity and the number of people, they'll attack even if there is a balance. Just like when Jessica-chan was killed!

GEORGE: .........Th, there's something I don't like! In that case, Shannon, who you had go to the kitchen, is in a dangerous situation, right?!! We should also go to the kitchen right now! No matter who might or might not be a wolf! If we can form a balance by gathering together, I think we should maintain that!!

ROSA: ......Shannon-chan went to see Father along with Genji-san. At that time, she was supposedly isolated, but she wasn't killed. Because Genji-san wasn't a wolf either? ......That's wrong! Because they were both wolves!!

GEORGE: Shannon isn't the kind of person who would take part in a crime!! Even if it's you, Rosa oba-san, I cannot ignore that. I demand that you take back what you just said...!

BATTLER: ...I hate to say this in front of Aniki, but that argument, ......feels just like something Eva oba-san would say. If we can't argue back, then you automatically assume that you're right. ......Looks like you can't fight your blood after all, Oba-san.

ROSA: .........Even I don't think of myself as very praiseworthy right now. But guess what? I'm a mother! I would even become a demon to protect Maria's safety. I really wish I could shut myself away somewhere alone with Maria. ......But I also plan to act as a mother to you two. Right now, you are as good as my children. ......Even if you aren't my own children, ...I won't forsake you. .........Definitely.

BATTLER: ......Sure, thanks.

ROSA: I just wanted to warn you not to be careless, as your mother.
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Always remain where I can see you. I will protect you.

BATTLER: And at the same time, you'll be observing us to make sure we aren't 'wolves'. ...Yeah, thanks a lot for that. Can you, Oba-san, prove that you aren't a 'wolf' yourself?

ROSA: Yes, I can.

BATTLER: That's a quick answer. How?

ROSA: With this. ...This is my proof.

Rosa oba-san held up the gun, and pointed the barrel at me.

But that was only for an instant. She immediately lowered the gun, laughing impishly. ......But to me, the time I spent staring down the barrel of the gun had felt like an eternity.

GEORGE: ...How does that gun prove that you aren't the culprit, Rosa oba-san?

ROSA: Think about it. What if I were the culprit? Did you think I would let the once-in-a-lifetime chance I got when the servants left get away? I could just shoot you, *bang*, and think of a fitting excuse later. Something like, Beatrice appeared outside the window and shot you with a gun. I would claim that I fired off a second shot back at her, and throw away two shots worth of empty cartridges.

BATTLER: That's a crazy violent argument, but it does make sense, ihihihi!

ROSA: Long ago, there's something Krauss nii-san often said. Might is right. .........I wonder if that's really true? .........I'm sorry, you two. I've somewhat lost my composure after all these crimes since morning. Since you know how I normally am, right now I must seem inflexible and a little short-tempered. ...But understand. I want to protect you from the malicious culprit. I will become a demon to do that. That's all there is to it. ......I'm sorry for saying something that's angered you, Battler-kun, George-kun. ...Let's make up.

An unsatisfied expression rose to George-aniki's face. ...He probably couldn't forgive the damage done to Shannon's honor.

...What about me...? Several bits of circumstantial evidence hinted at the servants' participation. ......I didn't want to believe that one of them was the culprit, or possibly colluding with the culprit, ...but in the current situation, that was nothing but wishful thinking.

Who should I believe. In the first place, who was the culprit? Were there accomplices? If so, how many?!

......It seems that I've only been suspecting the people involved. ...I had quickly forgotten that 19th person, the guest, Beatrice, who had come yesterday and boldly called herself the Golden Witch.

I hadn't actually seen her face. I'd heard that she was like a double of the witch in that portrait, but because I hadn't seen her directly, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't really feel like a 19th person was on this island. ...So I had unconsciously been hallucinating that the culprit was one of the 18...

Damn it...... Come out, Beatrice. If you're the bad guy, then act like the bad guy, and show yourself, laughing in a high-pitched voice and looking down on us. Just like the bad guy in one of those dramas who, even though they are exposed as the culprit, aggressively says, 'is there any proof?'

BEATRICE: *cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*cackle*. Is there any proof?

BATTLER: Shut up, no more talking...

What he learned:
+Jessica and Kanon :(
+Wow, Rosa can be pretty scary
+Which is especially frustrating since I guess she has to be right
+Beato stop being such a troll >(