itsalluseless: as ii clse my eyees and ram  the teapa..rty  with my shitt y blue truthh (never you mind all the others)
Battler Ushiromiya ([personal profile] itsalluseless) wrote2013-01-18 05:18 pm
Entry tags:

Memory 20

Memory: Teatime with Virgilia and Dlanor [ep5] (Significant Neutral)
Game: Green Knight loser game doll theatre (not played)
Day: 212
Form: Tiny, sharp ax. Cut yourself to receive the memory. 2/3 uses left.

In the Golden Land, the quiet rain......just kept on falling.

In the arbor......sat the sad witch whose eyes had lost their glint......and Battler.

Virgilia could also be seen there. ......She sat next to Beato, knitting quietly.

Lambdadelta's game had passed the climax of the first twilight, and they were taking a short break.

Gazing out at the golden rose garden soaked with rain, ......Battler thought back on the present, what was to come, and what had happened so far...... To Battler, thinking was itself a battle. Even with the game stopped and Beato unable to speak, ......he could still keep on fighting.

......Virgilia suddenly stopped her knitting. Battler noticed it too.

......Because, though none should have been able to visit this rose garden, she had noticed a silhouette approaching.

VIRGILIA: .........That's unusual. Not many people can reach this place.

BATTLER: It's her............

That silhouette, ......which walked amidst the quietly falling rain without so much as an umbrella, .........was Dlanor.

DLANOR: ......That was a spectacular garden MAZE. A very nice way to enjoy the ROSES.

BATTLER: Why.........are you here?

DLANOR: It's been some time, <Mrs> Beatrice. ...No wait, now it's <Mrs> Virgilia, is it NOT?

VIRGILIA: Long time no see, Dlanor. ......Come over here. We aren't ones to leave a guest out in the rain.

BATTLER: .....................

VIRGILIA: Don't worry. She hasn't come to fight.

BATTLER: ......Do you know her?

VIRGILIA: She's one of my old friends from heaven. ......This really takes me back.

DLANOR: That it DOES: <Mrs> Virgilia possesses a deep knowledge in Heavenly STUDIES. I have often argued with her over INTERPRETATIONS.

VIRGILIA: Ho ho ho... My many intellectual adventures with you were quite enjoyable. I'd like to do it again sometime.

DLANOR: Yes. Let's do it again SOMETIME. I'd love to fight with you AGAIN.

They used the word 'fight' but it didn't sound like they meant anything unpleasant by it. It sounded like something old chess rivals would say to each other.

Unlike Beato, it seems that Virgilia has always acted properly and courteously, so she had many friends in various other worlds, including both heaven and the demon world. Surprisingly, Dlanor was one of them......

Dlanor, who had crossed swords with 'me' just a short while ago, ducked her head as though taking shelter from a sudden rain, and sat in the seat Virgilia pointed out, like a guest.

VIRGILIA: ......Is there any type of black tea you would prefer?

DLANOR: ANYTHING. ......Any tea you make is SUPERB.

VIRGILIA: Then how about some Darjeeling? ......Battler, Beato, would you like some more?

BATTLER: ......Yeah. Beato and I would like a refill. ......Right?

BEATO: .....................

As usual, Beato didn't answer, ......but if you quietly gave her a cup, she would sip it from time to time. There was still some black tea left in that cup, but it had already chilled. So Battler asked for a refill for Beato as well...

DLANOR: ......I have heard the RUMORS. ......How pitiable that Beatrice, the Endless Witch famous for her cruelty, has been reduced to THIS.

BATTLER: She's no longer participating in the game. ......Lambdadelta is the one controlling the Beato that's on the game board.

DLANOR: I KNOW. ......However, she is the original master of this WORLD. And you are the proper guest, invited by that MASTER. That is why I have come to pay my RESPECTS.

On the game board, Beato and I met Dlanor. But those were the game pieces of those witches. They weren't Beato and me ourselves.

VIRGILIA: Is that why you went out of your way to greet Battler-kun and Beato here...? ...I see you're as conscientious as always.

DLANOR: That is my way of doing THINGS. .........Greetings, <Mister> Battler. I am Dlanor A. Knox. ...We play opposing roles, but it is a pleasure to meet YOU.

BATTLER: ......Sure. I'm Ushiromiya Battler. Pleased to meet you.

DLANOR: Greetings, <Miss> Beatrice. I am Dlanor A. Knox.

BEATO: ..................

BATTLER: ......Beato. She's saying hi. .........

BEATO: ..................

BATTLER: .....................She says 'welcome'.

DLANOR: Thank you very MUCH. <Miss> Beatrice.

The witch and the Inquisitor of Heresy whose job it was to hunt witches greeted each other around a tea table surrounded by the aroma of black tea. ......It was a strange sight.

Virgilia made gold butterflies sprout from the palms of her hands and transformed them into a teapot and a can of tea leaves.

......A witch-like tea set. She was a witch, so it wasn't an incredible bizarre scene. ......Though I was a bit concerned about whether Dlanor, an Inquisitor of Heresy, could watch such a spectacle.

DLANOR: ......Do not WORRY. I am not so boorish as to complain about how my tea is SERVED.

BATTLER: Even though the tea's being made with magic...?

DLANOR: ......There is a tea set hiding in the shadows, and <Mrs> Virgilia is making us tea with it in SECRET. We interpret and/or judge that it was 'made with MAGIC', and it is written as such in the TALE. ......That interpretation is allowed by Knox's 9th.

VIRGILIA: Oh my... I do believe the interpretation of the 9th is such a delicate problem that it's viewed as a taboo, even in the Great Court...... Even though it's just a personal opinion, if it became known that the Head Inquisitor of Heresy said such a thing, you might be sacked.

DLANOR: No matter how I might interpret it, there is nothing false about the way your tea TASTES. Therefore, I do not worry about how it was PREPARED.

BATTLER: .............Aha...

Though she looked cold, ......she was a surprisingly tactful person. ......If Dlanor were to deny that the black tea had been prepared with magic, this magic would surely be crushed in an instant.

However, since the possibility had been presented that a tea set existed and had been used to make the tea normally, the fact that Virgilia had made tea was, in the end, undisputed.

DLANOR: Magic that hides the result in darkness is EVIL. I will not permit IT. However, magic that governs the process is not necessarily EVIL. My foe is evil itself, not MAGIC.

BATTLER: I see, ......The important thing is that you're being welcomed with some tea, so it's just common courtesy to avoid complaining about how it was made.

......That's right. It's common courtesy to be grateful for tea that someone makes for you. There's nothing elegant about pushing your way into the kitchen and poking around through the tea-making process.

VIRGILIA: You don't invite your guests into the kitchen. And when you set the table, you should adorn it beautifully in the spirit of hospitality. ......Here you go. It's hot.

DLANOR: Thank YOU. I would like some sugar and MILK.

VIRGILIA: *giggle*. You still can't drink it straight?

DLANOR: I'm a KID. It must be SWEET.

BATTLER: ..........So then......is magic...a gentle......lie?

VIRGILIA: The word 'lie' makes it sound bad. The word 'embellishment' is probably more fitting.

DLANOR: When giving a child candy, you can take a crumpled up one out of your pocket, or use a wonderful bit of sleight of hand to take the candy OUT. The impression you give with each method varies GREATLY.

BATTLER: That's because it's cooler to take it out with a little magic trick.

DLANOR: WRONG. It is significant because it embellishes the result -- giving them the candy -- by making it even more beautiful and FUN.

VIRGILIA: ......Think of when you give Maria-chan a candy. There's a huge difference between taking it out of your pocket to give it to her and slipping it into her pocket and saying a fairy gave it to her for being such a good girl.

DLANOR: In my opinion, it would be boorish to then question everyone about their alibis and pinpoint who it was that slipped it into her POCKET. The important thing is the result: that the girl received the candy and REJOICED. And it is significant that it was embellishde in a way that made her REJOICE.

BATTLER: ......That's surprising. When you showed up, I got the feeling you'd deny anything that went by the name of magic.

DLANOR: That is how I act in my capacity as an Inquisitor of Heresy. It is my JOB. However, when I am away from my job, I don't enjoy being quite so cold-HEARTED.

BATTLER: So, this is what they call leaving your personal feelings aside when on duty? ......You do it well.

DLANOR: As an Inquisitor of Heresy, hunting witches is my JOB. ......However, I personally find witches pitiable. Despite this, I carry out judgement mercilessly as an INQUISITOR. ......In the end, that doesn't change the fact that I sentence witches to DEATH. ......In the end, my pity is nothing more than a useless EMBELLISHMENT. Whether I have it or not, nothing CHANGES. So, it would be better if I DIDN'T......

VIRGILIA: .........That's not true. Even if the ends are the same, there's a big difference depending on your heart. ......Your mother's cookies must have been more delicious than those made by a good pastry shop. ...That's because you know that they were made with heart.

BATTLER: That's right. .........Even if the result appears to be the same, ......there's a huge difference between whether or not it had a little thing called sincerity...

DLANOR: Is that SO......? .........Whether I have a heart or not is completely MEANINGLESS.

Dlanor's gaze fell to her cup, a little sadly...

BATTLER: That's not true.

DLANOR: ............

BATTLER: After hearing all that, I've changed the way I look at you. ......So I'm certain your heart isn't something meaningless.

[...]

DLANOR: ......As for that last fight, thank you very MUCH. I am grateful for the mercy you showed me at the very END.

BATTLER: That 'me' wasn't me. ......Lambdadelta was controlling him.

I joined in on the 5th game partway through. I still haven't participated at 'this point in time'. So until I do join in, the piece 'me' is probably being controlled by Bernkastel or Lambdadelta.

BATTLER: ......Just what kind of whim are they working off? Trying to make it look all cool... They made me look like some kind of knight coming to save Beato.

VIRGILIA: Lady Lambdadelta wants both witches and humans to be in balance, resulting in a draw. .........With Erika's appearance, the scales tipped strongly in favor of the human side, so she manipulated the tale in a way that supports Beato.

DLANOR: I am aware of that. However, pieces cannot do things that are impossible for THEM. And they specialize in actions appropriate to their original PERSONALITY. ......Therefore, that was certainly something that you......that Battler was capable OF. That is why I am grateful to YOU.

BATTLER: ......It feels a bit weird to be praised when I didn't actually do anything. ......After the game continues a bit more, I'll probably regain control of my piece. Not sure I'll be able to go easy on you then.

DLANOR: It's the same with ME. The next time we cross swords, I won't hold BACK.

BATTLER: Bring it on. I'll be your opponent. Come at me with all you've got.

DLANOR: I PROMISE. With everything I've GOT.

......Dlanor. I'd thought she was an emotionless killer doll without a heart, ...but maybe she actually is pretty approachable. ......Though of course, neither of us will show any mercy when fighting over the game board.

For a while, we gazed at the rain-drenched rose garden as we quietly enjoyed our tea.

BATTLER: ......Still, it really is terrifying. The way you fight. ......Knox's Ten Commandments, or the Decalogue, wasn't it? Those callbacks of the mystery genre, right?

DLANOR: YES. ......They are commandments conceived by my FATHER.

BATTLER: Hidden doors must not exist. That's Knox's 3rd, right? That means there's no need for detectives to even look for hidden doors. ......Sounds pretty ridiculous.

Bernkastel said it herself. She said that, because they were forbidden by Knox's 3rd, even searching for hidden doors was a waste of time. I'd like to counter that by saying it isn't so uncommon for a rich family's mansion to have a hidden door or two built into it. ......But apparently, that sort of rule works perfectly well in the mystery genre.

By the way, there exist many wonderful mysteries in which hidden doors appear, and where hidden doors are the theme. ......Of course, this is limited to novels which have the 'premise' that hidden doors exist.

If that 'premise' doesn't exist, hidden doors must not exist. So because that 'premise' doesn't exist, there is no need to search for hidden doors. ......I think that's probably the essence of her ridiculous argument.

I get the feeling that the detective trying to expose the truth and the illusion trying to confuse it with a mixture of truth and lies...are getting blended together, leading to a bizarre form of argument similar to a Devil's Proof.

Making a closed room murder seem to be accomplished by a witch with magic is fantasy. Exposing that it was a human's crime done with tricks is anti-fantasy. Considering all possibilities to expose those tricks is mystery. But is it also mystery......to claim that possibilities with no hints supporting them are unworthy of investigation?

Let's say a hidden door is hidden in a way that there would be no clues. Would claiming that a hidden door therefore exists even though a detective couldn't find it......be anti-mystery?

.........That's enough of that. This argument is too far of a digression from the riddles I'm actually supposed to be solving.

My fight is very simple. I'm only fighting to explain how it was possible for a human to carry out these crimes which were supposedly carried out by a witch.

This whole discussion about 'mystery' and 'anti' doesn't serve any purpose. That's why I didn't have any particular interest regarding these rules known as the Knox Decalogue...

DLANOR: ............Do you dislike Knox?

BATTLER: It doesn't work for me. ......There's something strange about making it possible to deny the existence of all hidden doors without investigating. ...It's about as dubious as a Devil's Proof. ......Even though it's supposed to be the exact opposite of fantasy, it somehow feels like it's the same kind of argument.

DLANOR: ...............

BATTLER: ......Ah, I shouldn't have said that. Your dad was the one who made them, after all.

DLANOR: Do not WORRY: ......After all, there are some who say it is nothing more than a GAME.

VIRGILIA: The Decalogue feels like something very arrogant to you, right, Battler-kun...?

BATTLER: ......To be honest, yes. ......If there was ever a detective who said he didn't need to look for hidden doors because they must not exist, everyone should start looking around on the floor to see if some of his screws had come loose...

DLANOR: In that case, Battler, ......let us say that the 3rd Commandment doesn't exist. In that case, what would happen to closed room mysteries...?

BATTLER: ......What is Knox's 3rd, 'hidden doors are forbidden' didn't exist...? .........In other words, hidden doors would always work just fine as the standard trick for closed rooms.

DLANOR: This does not refer to hidden doors with hints or FORESHADOWING. ...It refers only to doors that even the detective cannot find because, of course, they are HIDDEN.

VIRGILIA: Battler-kun, you often fight by using a Devil's Proof to assume an undiscoverable element X. ......That's what this is about.

BATTLER: That'd be horrible. The closed room mystery genre wouldn't be worth reading at all.

By becoming not worth the time......it would cease to exist. No one would want to try solving the riddle from the beginning if they knew the answer might just be an unforeseeable hidden door.

BATTLER: ......If you don't have some guarantee that no hidden doors exist, you don't really feel like trying to reason it out. ............I see. Knox's 3rd is necessary. ......Without that, it wouldn't be worth reading closed room mysteries.

VIRGILIA: If you don't feel like trying to reason it out...what does that mean...?

BATTLER: IT means you don't even feel like reading it.

DLANOR: That's IT. ......Humans are weak creatures, who can't even think unless they have proof that reasoning is POSSIBLE.

BATTLER: ...That reasoning is possible. ......In other words, they need encouragement that they can solve it if they do their best.

That...might be true.

......It's the same with exercising. If you're told to run around the campus ten times, you can tough it out. However, if you don't know how many times you're supposed to run around it, you'd probably get tired out before you made it around three times.

The same thing goes for thinking and reasoning. Humans view a problem differently depending on whether or not it's guaranteed to be solvable......

VIRGILIA: In detective novels, there's always a scene where the detective announces that he's discovered who the culprit is. ......That's a sign saying 'The hints have all been given in the previous parts of the story, so dear readers, please try to reason it out'.

BATTLER: .........Ah. I always thought it was just a classic line, but it did also have that effect.

VIRGILIA: To put it harshly, as long as the detective doesn't say that, ......readers won't feel like trying to solve it no matter how much they love solving mysteries.

DLANOR: ......Weren't you like that yourself in the previous GAMES......?

BATTLER: .....................

Now that I hear it, ......maybe that really was the case.

Maybe my fight against Beato really began in the 2nd game. At first, I didn't seriously try to tackle the closed room riddles Beato threw at me. After all, I knew nothing except that people had died in a closed room, and the windows and doors were all locked from the inside.

......I had basically no hints. So I refused to argue on the grounds that I couldn't fight because the lack of clues made reasoning impossible.

......After that, Beato sneered at me, didn't she...asking whether I would repeat that over and over forever in an endless repetition of moves......

[...]

Then, she said she'd give certain information that couldn't be denied, and created the rule called the red truth. Once we reached that point, the curtain finally rose on my battle with Beato......

BATTLER: ......So, ......that's when I finally had a guarantee that I could solve this tale if I tried, ......and I stepped up to the stage with her for the first time......?

DLANOR: Beatrice. ......She's a strange PERSON. Though riddles are the only holes witches can live within, she began to give you the red truth, a method by which those riddles could be SOLVED.

You could say that the red truth is a hint Beato gives me so that I can compete in this war of reasoning. ......Like candy. Because I've been given hints, it's like she's saying...try and solve it......it can be solved.

......An enigma which is guaranteed to be solvable......can't be called a true 'enigma'.

BATTLER: Isn't this almost as though.........Beato herself is admitting......that she isn't really a witch...?

VIRGILIA: My, my. That does seem logical. ......She truly is a strange child.

BEATO: ...................

Beato gave no answer. With gray eyes, ......she did nothing but blankly gaze at the steam rising from her black tea...

DLANOR: My father created the Decalogue to act as a crutch for the power of THINKING. ......It most certainly wasn't made as a way to arrogantly decide THINGS.

BATTLER: ......A crutch...for the power of thinking......

DLANOR: That's RIGHT. By Knox's 8th, it is forbidden for the case to be resolved with clues that are not PRESENTED. ......This does not only mean that one is forced to avoid making theories that are not supported by CLUES.

VIRGILIA: If you turn it around, .........it means that the one proposing the riddles is forced to display clues which lead to the solution.

BATTLER: ......So, in other words, ......if you follow the Decalogue, ......all riddles must have hints, ......and therefore, it's guaranteed that finding the solution is possible.

I see......so this is what they mean by a crutch for the power of thinking. If you can believe that it's solvable, you start feeling the desire to have a go at those riddles. If you're capable of believing that hints do exist, you get fired up about rereading the story to search for them......

BATTLER: I'll admit......it might have the power of giving courage to people trying to solve it.

DLANOR: You seem to think that the Knox Decalogue is a series of restrictions imposed by the one who made the MYSTERY, but it is also vital for the READERS. ......By using the Decalogue as a crutch, we are given the courage needed to use reasoning, as well as the willpower to reread the tale several times in search of the clues we know must be hidden THERE.

BATTLER: .........It's like the lid of a jar of jam which is too tight and won't open. ......Like Mom always used to say, ......if you think you can't open it, then it really won't open no matter how hard you try. ......The same thing happens in sports. They say that whether or not you have a strong image of yourself and believe you can win no matter what has a large impact on the records.

In that case. The Knox Decalogue isn't really a set of arrogant and strict restrictions. ......You can also see it as a way to encourage readers, who are trying to solve the mystery, by telling them to give it their all since it's definitely solvable...

BATTLER: .........That's an interesting way to interpret it. ......However, I've heard that not all of the detective novels around the world follow the Decalogue all the time, right? .........When you bump into one of those, won't you feel tricked...?

DLANOR: Even the Decalogue is nothing more than a single INTERPRETATION, and it does not apply to all mystery STORIES. ......Though among fundamentalists of my father's work, it seems there are those who harshly criticize works which violate the Decalogue and call them HERESY...

There's no end of arguments like this in the mystery world. Was this or that famous detective novel really a fair mystery -- in other words, one that followed Knox's Decalogue?

That sort of argument is already an eternal theme of the mystery world. In fact, in mystery discussions, arguments like these sometimes become more heated than talk about the actual tricks......

BATTLER I can understand why they'd want to criticize it. ......They try to solve it, believe it's solvable and follow the Decalogue, but it's actually not made to be solvable at all. I can understand how that'd get pretty annoying.

That's right. When fighting with the Decalogue, ......there's just one thing you want guaranteed from the beginning. In other words, .........you want a guarantee that this detective novel will adhere to the Decalogue.

If a work labels itself as an orthodox mystery, then you have nothing to worry about. However, the mystery genre contains many unorthodox sub-genres within it. .........Does that mean that trying to use reasoning in an unorthodox detective novel is a complete waste of time......?

BATTLER ......Looking at it that way, ......it really does feel arrogant.

DLANOR: YES. I also find it extremely sad that my father's Decalogue has been used as such an arrogant weapon.

BATTLER: ............Though you just fought with Beato using the Decalogue as a weapon. ......Can I take that as proof that this game world of Beato's follows the Knox Decalogue......?

BEATO: ...........................

When I asked that, ......there was a strange silence. Virgilia, Dlanor, ...and of course, Beato... ...all remained silent for a while...... Almost as though my question had touched at the core of something...

VIRGILIA: That......is something I cannot answer myself.

BATTLER: Why...?

VIRGILIA: This is a game that this child made. ......A game to decide which of the two of you will win. ......This child has called it a confrontation between mystery and fantasy. But unfortunately, she has never called it an orthodox mystery. That means you have no guarantee that it follows the Decalogue.

DLANOR: ......But at the same time, <Miss> Beatrice has said that this game is a contest between you and HER. ......In other words, there is a chance that you could WIN.

BATTLER: In other words, .........you're trying to say that reasoning is possible?

BEATO: ..................

VIRGILIA: .........If you asked this child, she would probably say that reasoning is possible. ......However, just as she is the challenger and you are the challenged, the two of you are different creatures. ......Something Beato might have proposed thinking it is solvable...may or may not be something that is solvable for you as well.

For example, let's say we propose a simple riddle that any Japanese person would know. ......However, if the person we're telling this riddle to is a foreigner with a Japanese-English dictionary in their hand, it might be almost impossible to solve.

......In other words, it's possible to have a one-sided 'solvable problem' which might be easy for the questioner but extremely difficult for the person trying to solve it...

By the way, do you know of the foreign riddle: 'Why do dragons sleep all day?' The answer is 'Because they fight knights'. It's a riddle from the English realm, so it might be a little tough for a Japanese person.

VIRGILIA: For that reason, ........I cannot promise that this tale is something you will absolutely be able to solve. .........However, I can promise you one thing. ...I will guarantee it with the red truth.

BATTLER: .........What?

VIRGILIA: Beato wantedyou to solve it, so she made this game...the riddles of this tale...solvable. That alone, I will guarantee with the red truth.

It was......the one guarantee.........that all those who try to use reasoning desire.

DLANOR: I don't know whether my father's Decalogue will apply to that answer or lead you to IT. ......However, when you run into a tight spot and want a compass for your reasoning, please try using my Decalogue if you REMEMBER. ......It might give you renewed courage and possibly even some new DISCOVERY......

BATTLER: Thank you. If I'm truly stuck, I'll think about your fighting style. ......Are you sure it's alright to help out an enemy like this?

DLANOR: Pay that no MIND. I came to this tea party without a GIFT. I hope you can enjoy this in place of a SNACK. ...And...if you come face to face with me AGAIN, there probably won't be time to speak of something so CASUALLY.

.........Knox's Decalogue......and Virgilia's red truth.

'Beato wanted me to solve it, so she made the riddles of this game solvable'. In other words, ......Beato wants me to be capable of solving it. Isn't that......proof that reasoning is possible......?

......Of course, that's from Beato's point of view, ......and it doesn't necessarily mean that reasoning is possible for me......

Compared to before now, when I didn't even know whether reasoning was possible or impossible, ......that one line might give me a great deal of courage... At least it has the power to silence any negative thoughts about it just being useless anyway...

VIRGILIA: ......Unless the other party assures you that reasoning is possible, you won't do it. ......It's almost like love between shy, young people.

BATTLER: Love?

VIRGILIA: Yes. .........Unless you have proof that the other person loves you first, you don't want to love them back. ......Right?

Both boys and girls......want to hear someone else say they love them first. That's their dream. ......If they're in love, they don't want to love the other person until they're sure this person loves them back.

After all, there's nothing as painful as a one-sided love, ......and the scars of the heart that leaves behind last a long time. Because they are afraid of that pain, ......they want proof that the other person loves them first more than anything else...

DLANOR: I SEE, that's an interesting way to explain the relationship between writer and reader in a detective NOVEL.

Yes, ......maybe you could liken detective novels to that.

Both the writer and the reader......first want the other party to say they will solve it (that it can be solved). Until the writer is assured that the reader will certainly have a go at the riddle if they propose it, they don't want to write their story.

The same goes for the readers. Until they are assured that they will certainly be able to solve the riddle if they try, they don't want to read the story.

Because they don't want to write what they consider a masterpiece and be hurt when no one reads it. Because they don't want to reason about what they consider a masterpiece and be hurt when they realize it was all useless.

BATTLER: By that argument.........it really isn't a stretch to say it's like love between shy elementary or middle school-aged kids. ......Even though they really do want it, they don't have the courage to reveal their feelings, so they wait uncomfortably for the other person to confess......and by the time summer ends, nothing's happened. Heheh, sometimes they'll even go out with a different person. That's what my first love was like, ihihi.

Along with these one-sided feelings they can't express, they lament the passage of a summer which will never come again, and the days of their youth end. The writer who wouldn't write until he gained the support of readers...goes for all eternity without releasing his maiden work. The reader who waited for the writer's rise to fame...goes their whole life without knowing the joy of the mystery genre.

VIRGILIA: ......Battler-kun. When does this 'the chicken or the egg' type of shy love reach the level where it progresses into mutual love......?

BATTLER: Well, .........that's probably when things start to pile up. ...It starts as a relationship between friends, they communicate with each other more, ......and when the two both reach the level where they're sure......that 'I like this person and they surely like me', ......well, then they probably just naturally become a pair of lovers. My impression up until now is that relationships which start with a sudden confession of love tend to break up more often, whereas pairs who never actually confess to each other but realize that they've always been together usually stay together for a surprisingly long time.

DLANOR: In other words, this happens after the two of them trust each other and a relationship of trust is BORN, ......is what you're SAYING.

BATTLER: .........Maybe. ......It's a bit odd. ...I've always thought the mystery genre was a battle between the writer and the reader, ......but maybe it actually isn't.

VIRGILIA: Yes. It's something which can't go on without a relation built on mutual trust, ......a relationship with love.

BATTLER: ..................

BEATO: ..................

BATTLER: ......So, you're saying that our relationship......isn't one of killing each other, but one with love?

VIRGILIA: ......*giggle*. Though it doesn't look like anything more than a pair of elementary schoolers bullying each other to me... Heheheheh.

Virgilia joked at us in a middle-aged woman sort of way.

Still, ......though I'm not expecting friendship or a trusting relationship, ......I can accept her as a rival.

Beato is fighting at full force, trying to make me acknowledge that she's a witch. So I'll respond to that and go all out trying to deny that witches exist.

DLANOR: How do you know that <Miss> Beato is fighting at full FORCE?

BATTLER: I can tell by looking.

DLANOR: It isn't as though she has proclaimed in red that she was fighting you at full FORCE. ......And yet, you still have no DOUBTS? You are the one who said you wouldn't believe anything except the red TRUTH.

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

VIRGILIA: *giggle*. ......I'm sure this is the stage where communication increases and you learn not to doubt your relationship which Battler-kun was mentioning earlier.

Virgilia and Dlanor giggled together.

......One guy, multiple women. The topic is love. ......Wait a sec, isn't this the worst formation for getting made fun of?

When I tried to change the subject and bring back a proper mood for a tea party in the rainy Golden Land by clumsily searching for a more noble subject, Virgilia saw right through me and laughed at me......

..................

Even amidst this, Beato kept looking downwards with those gray eyes, staring into her black tea.........

DLANOR: .........There is one thing I must apologize FOR.

With a sudden sigh, Dlanor muttered something.

BATTLER: What is it? ......If it's about that fight a short while ago, it's already over. We both fought with everything we had. The outcome was just luck of the draw.

DLANOR: No, it wasn't just luck of the DRAW. ...I couldn't just let it be, so I came here to APOLOGIZE.

BATTLER: ......What are you talking about...?

VIRGILIA: .....................You're saying you threw the match, aren't you?

Virgilia spoke softly, without hesitating in her knitting.

DLANOR: .........YES. ......<Mister> Battler.

BATTLER: That <Mister> really hurts. Just Battler is fine.

DLANOR: Battler. ......I APOLOGIZE. We did not give it everything we HAD.

VIRGILIA: .........I know. ......'Kinzo is dead at the starting time for all games'. Beato has already spoken that truth. ......In that battle, Battler-kun could only have achieved a draw at best. He most certainly had no chance at all of winning.

BATTLER: ......You're right. ......If you just say that, the whole fight's already over. ......Why didn't you use that red? Don't tell me it was because of a stalemate or something like that.

DLANOR: Knox's 2nd. It is forbidden for supernatural agencies to be used as a detective TECHNIQUE. We cannot use that red truth DIRECTLY. However, I gave Cornelia, who was protecting the window, the red truth that 'the window was never opened after it started RAINING'.

BATTLER: Boom. ...That's checkmate. ......Why didn't that girl use that trump card...?

[...]

DLANOR: I don't UNDERSTAND. All of a sudden, in that instant, use of that trump card became FORBIDDEN. Once we lost that, your victory was GUARANTEED.

VIRGILIA: .........The Game Master, Lady Lambdadelta, probably interfered.

BATTLER: That bastard............So in the end, that whole fight was a farce in the palm of Lambdadelta's hand. She made 'us' play out that entire act according to her script.

DLANOR: I do not like IT. However, since you told me to fight with everything I had, I had no choice but to let you KNOW. ......Please forgive ME.

VIRGILIA: Still, even though you'd lost your trump card, you kept on fighting all-out with your remaining cards. I don't believe anyone could find fault with what you did.

BATTLER: ......That's right. ......On the contrary, you should be mad at Lambdadelta for butting in.

DLANOR: 'Kinzo doesn't exist' should already be an established FACT. Lady Lambdadelta and Lady Bernkastel should know this WELL. And yet, they are both leaving room for Kinzo to exist as they continue in this GAME. ......It's almost as though the two are conspiring to prevent Kinzo's existence from being DENIED.

BATTLER: In other words, they intentionally let 'Grandfather' escape...?

DLANOR: YES. They must be after SOMETHING.

VIRGILIA: ............That is a bit off. ...Lady Lambdadelta and Lady Bernkastel should always be in opposition unless the witch side is in a superior position. ......It's hard to imagine that those two are conspiring together at a time like this...

DLANOR: I can't help but think that they have some sort of wicked GOAL. I came here because I wanted you to know THAT.

BATTLER: ......So, ...you came all the way here to tell us something like that?

DLANOR: YES. ......Which means that my business here is FINISHED. I think I will leave NOW. The game will probably resume SHORTLY. I must aid Erika during the rest of this GAME.

Dlanor gulped down the rest of her black tea and stood up.

DLANOR: Next is the battle of the second TWILIGHT. At that point, I will once again raise my merciless LONGSWORD. ......So I ask the same of you, Battler. Show no mercy towards ME.

BATTLER: ......I understand. ...If I went easy on you, I'd have my own head smashed in.

DLANOR: On the game board, I am nothing more than Lady Bernkastel's piece and Furudo Erika's SUBORDINATE. In the future, we will probably stand across from each other as opponents many TIMES. ......However, my heart is always NEUTRAL. ......No, ......please forget THAT. ......That has nothing to do with the relationship between the two of US.

BATTLER: It does. ......There's no doubt you're a fearsome opponent, but you don't piss me off anymore. Though that Erika totally pisses me off.

DLANOR: GOOD. Furudo Erika also pisses me OFF.

BATTLER: Heh, hahahahaha.

Dlano'rs expression finally softened slightly. ......At the very last moment, it felt as though we finally understood each other.

DLANOR: Furudo Erika is a very evil CREATURE. ......She's lost face from her recent defeat and is burning with a desire for REVENGE. Even I don't know what she is PLANNING. However, it can't be anything GOOD. Please take CARE.

BATTLER: ......Just knowing she's Bernkastel's piece means I can't let my guard down.

Dlanor nodded as though satisfied, left the eaves of the arbor and walked out into the rain.

DLANOR: ......Who would have thought that I would work as a subordinate to such EVIL... .........Why was I called to this WORLD?

Dlanor let out a small sigh.

'Pieces' can do nothing except fulfill the function they have been given. And that function is given to them by the one who controls them. ......She probably can't disobey 'her' own player, Bernkastel.

VIRGILIA: ............Lady Bernkastel may be the one who called you here. However, the one who let you into this world is Beato. ......If this child didn't wish it, you would never have been able to make it through the garden maze and arrive here. ......Right, ...Beato......?

BEATO: ..................

DLANOR: ..................<Miss> Beatrice. What is it that you want from ME? ......I do hope that I can help you in some way, though I may be a subordinate of EVIL...

She spoke to Beato......but of course, there was no response.

After bowing once more in thanks for the black tea, ......Dlanor disappeared off into the rainy rose garden......

BATTLER: So, no one can reach this Golden Land if Beato doesn't want them to?

VIRGILIA: Yes. ......This child is the one who called Dlanor here.

BEATO: ....................

BATTLER: .........So, ......Beato called her here so I could meet with her...

......However, I know of a person who reached this place despite Beato's wishes.

It's Ange. ...In the last game, Ange reached this place by herself......even though she was an uninvited guest. Was that......also something......Beato wished for......?

VIRGILIA: I am here, you are here. Beato is here. Dlanor was invited here. ......All of these things happened because this child wanted them to. ......Even the bit of time you and Dlanor spent together drinking tea.

BEATO: ..................

BATTLER: ......Beato. What was I.........supposed to learn from her......? Does it have something to do with finding your heart......and letting you sleep peacefully......?

Dlanor A Knox. The natural enemy of witches. Inquisitor of Heresy. ......A vanguard of mystery...who denies fantasy.

Is she here to help......by gouging out your heart......and choking the life out of you.........?

...................

What he learned:
+Beato D:
+Virgilia continues to be awesome
+Dlanor is cool too (plus kind of cute at times)
+More understanding of magic!
+>( goddammit Bern and Lambda, this isn't your game
+though at least apparently they at least made me look cool and beat Dlanor in a fight
+The Knox Decalogue! It's important and could be useful in solving mysteries, including Beato's
+///
+well I already knew we have feelings for each other but still ///
+100 determination to solve the riddle!!
+whoa Grandfather is dead apparently! what does that mean for the number of people on the island...
+hrrmm Bern and Lambda had something suspicious going on in the 5th game
+Ange is somehow connected to this whole thing? But she's six years old and back home sick!?
+Beato wanted me to have this conversation so it's definitely an important hint :|a
+WAITWAITWAIT I'm trying to kill her? And she wants me to??? D8