A Meihousou Most Foul

Section 1: Murder at the Meihousou (Prologue)

Narration: Our story begins in the Kingdom of Nadai Nadha, a tiny Caribbean nation. Its founder, the first king, was beloved by all his people.

Narration: But over generations, the royal family's reputation diminished. Poor governing tore the nation apart, and the people of the nation ceased to revere their king.

Narration: As the situation worsened, the people came to desire a democracy, and so formed a militia for the revolution.

Narration: The king turned a deaf ear to their pleas, though. Instead, he elected to remain in his palace and enjoy his life of luxury.

Narration: In consequence, the revolutionaries gained more and more power, fueled by the people's grievances.

Narration: And then...the day finally came.

B:Ryu Tan: ...So the masses have decided to act. To think that I would make such a grave error in judgment.

C:Daizou Oka: What's the problem? All you gotta do to win a war is wipe out the opposing side, right?

Daizou: All that matters is that we're still standing when this is over.

Ryu: You blithering fool. Can you not see how many of them there are? The odds are against us!

Daizou: Nope, sorry. I was too busy cutting down enemies to feed my sister after our parents died to learn about statistics.

Ryu: I suppose there was little sense in making you commander. Very well then, leave. Go wherever you wish.

Daizou: Fine by me. Guess this means you and I are through.

A:Miguel Ángel Cortés: Well, General Tan, can I convince you to surrender peacefully? At our age, surely you wish to avoid needless injury just as much as I do.

Ryu: I have no intention of refusing to acknowledge reality, but I also know that your army was quite determined to take advantage of the situation.

Ryu: So I thought you could at least serve as a scarecrow of sorts, and draw the rebels' attention away.

Ryu: Then, while your forces and theirs stared each other down, my soldiers could strike at them from behind.

Miguel: A clever plan, General Tan. Just what I would expect from you. That sort of thinking is exactly why I had to stay one step ahead of you.

Ryu: Well, you succeeded. I never dreamed you would come to kill me in my sleep. Now my army is destroyed thanks to your ambush.

Ryu: But what will you do now? I can't imagine you think you'll hold back the rebel army with your forces alone.

Miguel: That's your problem right there, General Tan. You're too earnest for your own good. As a matter of fact, I've already reached an understanding with the rebels.

Miguel: Once they have conquered the palace, I'm to be the new government's representative. They have no more desire for senseless bloodshed than I do, after all.

Ryu: ...You contemptible wretch. Even I couldn't have imagined you would be so self-serving.

Miguel: Please don't think too poorly of me, General Tan. If anyone here is to blame, I would say it's you.

Narration: With Vice General Miguel Ángel Cortés's coup d'état delivering the final blow, the Kingdom of Nadai Nadha was no more.

Narration: Soon after, the Republic of Nadai Nadha stood in its place, with Miguel serving as its first president.

Narration: Though the nation never reached the heights of power it once knew, its people were more than happy to enjoy a new peace in its stead.

Narration: Ten years later...

Antonio: Are you ready yet, Elise?

Elise: You're so impatient, Uncle.

Antonio: I'm not impatient. You're just slow.

Elise: Anyway...

Elise: I'm surprised there's such a beautiful mansion all the way out here in the middle of nowhere.

Antonio: It used to be one of the royal family's summer homes.

Antonio: The people tore down or sold the other ones, but this one remained to serve as Miguel's residence.

Elise: But that Miguel guy's dead now, right?

Antonio: Indeed, he passed before he had even turned sixty. I still have trouble believing he's gone.

Antonio: Go on now, say hello to his widow.

Gabriela: Welcome, Lord Antonio. Welcome, Lady Elise.

Antonio: You're too kind. It's an honor to be invited.

Elise: ...

Gabriela: Not at all. As the new head of the Meihousou Manor, it's my pleasure to have you all here.

Gabriela: It's almost time for the toast, so I'll see you both later.

Elise: Hmph, she can't fool me. I can tell she's secretly dancing for joy.

Elise: With her husband's untimely death, she's got all his wealth to spend however she likes.

Elise: Although, if you count the time she spent as Miguel's foster-daughter, she's been with him for ten years, so...

Elise: Yeah, this is totally not worth giving up a huge portion of your life for. I don't envy her a damn bit.

Antonio: Watch your mouth, Elise.

Elise: Sorry, Uncle. By the way, who's that suave-looking hottie over there?

Antonio: He seems familiar somehow. Wait. That uniform is from the old kingdom...

Roma: Excuse me, but you wouldn't happen to be Antonio Roberto Jobim, the court musician, would you?

Antonio: Once upon a time, I was... And who might you be?

Roma: My name is Roma Kureishi. I used to report to General Cortés.

Antonio: ...Ahh, I thought I recognized you.

Roma: I saw you in the palace a number of times. Though of course, I hardly expect you to remember me.

Antonio: Hmm... I don't see any of Miguel's other subordinates here. He must have really cared about you.

Antonio: I'm afraid I know almost nothing about politics. Are you a high-ranking government official now?

Roma: No, I'm actually quite ignorant of politics myself. I resigned before the new government was established, and now I'm the town doctor.

Roma: My family was rather poor, so the only reason I joined the army in the first place was to give myself a chance to attend medical school free of charge.

Antonio: Ahh, so you were a medical officer then.

Elise: You're dressed awfully fancy for a doctor.

Roma: Oh, this is just the nicest outfit I own. It's one of the few I own that miraculously escaped being eaten by moths, so I figured it would do for formal dress.

Roma: By the way, I don't believe I caught your name?

Elise: ...It's Elise. Maybe you've heard it before?

Roma: Ohh, you're that singer! I hear your voice on the radio...well, it seems like every day anymore!

Roma: I leave it on all the time in my clinic, so I've become very familiar with your songs. They do wonders to cheer up my patients, too.

Elise: Well of course. My voice paired with Uncle's music can lift almost anyone's spirits.

Antonio: Ironically, leaving the position at the palace turned out to be the best thing that could have happened for my musical career.

Roma: It just goes to show that the rest of the world finally caught up to you, Maestro.

Antonio: ...That may be.

Elise: Oh come on, Uncle, what do you care if the plebs like your music?

Antonio: Stop that.

Antonio: I must apologize for my niece. I'm worried her refusal to learn any manners will be the death of her career someday.

Roma: Oh, that's all right. At any rate, I'm surprised you made it through the massacre. I remember they slaughtered everyone in the palace that day, even the noncombatants.

Antonio: That's, um...

Roma: No, I'm sorry. It's a painful memory for me, too. I shouldn't have brought it up so casually.

Roma: Anyway, I'm sure I'll see you later.

Elise: Man, Uncle, this place is huge, but there's hardly anyone here. I could count them all on my two hands.

Antonio: Yes, I find that strange, too.

Elise: And it's not the only weird thing around here.

Elise: I know you're not exactly a spring chicken, Uncle, but look at the other guests.

Elise: They're almost all relatively young guys...

Elise: ...and they're all really good-looking, don't you think?

Antonio: Now that you mention it, I suppose they are. Almost none of them seem like they belong here.

García: I heard you two talking with that guy in the white suit. Are you really the famous singer-composer duo?

Antonio: May I ask who you are?

Vargas: It is I–I mean, the name's Vargas.

García: And I'm García, Vargas's partner. I'm sorry we're both dressed like slobs.

Antonio: Hmm... May I ask how you knew the deceased?

Vargas: What was that? Are you trying to say I don't belong here?

García: Cut that out, Vargas. Your inner hick is showing.

García: Sorry about that. Spending all our time out hunting doesn't leave a lot of opportunity for us to practice our manners.

Elise: You guys are hunters?

García: Sure are!

García: We heard Miguel was big into gourmet food, and we figured it would help us out a ton if he became a regular customer.

García: But he ended up passing just before we finalized an arrangement with him.

García: So now, we're hoping to do business with Gabriela. We'll do our best to win her over.

Vargas: ...What he said.

García: Come on, partner, loosen up. Sorry guys, he's a bundle of nerves right now. Usually he's much nicer.

García: We'll come chat with you again once he's had a few drinks to take the edge off.

Elise: García acquitted himself okay, but Vargas seems like he had no idea how to properly behave.

Antonio: And here I had to pull every string I could just to get an invitation.

Antonio: I wouldn't normally expect to run into people like that in a place like this...

Elise: Maybe they stole someone else's invite then.

Antonio: Hmm. I suppose they could just be going by García and Vargas to match the names on a stolen invitation.

Antonio: But what would they hope to achieve by sneaking in here? Maybe they're after Cortés's legacy?

Elise: Maybe they're after Gabriela. She must've had it rough, having to marry that geezer and all.

Elise: Who could blame her for wanting to have fun with some new boy toys now? They both have a nice tan, and they look healthy enough to keep her...entertained for a good long time.

Antonio: ...You really must learn to hold your tongue. This is why everyone says you should just stick to singing.

Elise: Yeah, yeah. So who're those weirdos? They look totally out of place too, though for pretty different reasons.

Antonio: I've been wondering about them too. Let's go say hello.

Elise: Fine by me. Now that I look closely, the guy's a lot cuter than I thought.

Antonio: Pardon me, would you be so kind as to tell me your names?

Isidoro: Me? I'm Isidoro Poggioli, traveling musician.

Antonio: I'm Antonio Roberto Jobim, composer.

Isidoro: Oh my, you don't say.

Elise: How about you, short stuff?

Adriana: I-I'm Adriana Molinari, Mr. Poggioli's assistant.

Elise: Hmm... So you're studying to be a musician yourself, but you still don't have your own instrument?

Adriana: Um, yes, that's right. I have no talent whatsoever, so I'm a long way from even holding an instru–

Isidoro: Ahem. Silence is golden, Adriana. You'd do well to remember that.

Adriana: Y-yes, sir! I'm sorry.

Antonio: You really must learn to keep your mouth shut too, Elise.

Elise: Yeah, yeah.

Isidoro: All right, I think we had better go greet those strapping young men over there. I'm sure we'll see you two later.

Elise: Talk about shady. They didn't even seem to recognize our names.

Antonio: They could merely be posing as musicians.

Elise: There definitely seems to be more than meets the eye with everyone so far.

E:Antonio: The same could well be said of us. Remember, try not to stand out too much.

Elise: I know, Uncle. We both have our reasons for being here.

Elise: I feel like I've seen that servant somewhere before.

Antonio: Of course you have. That's the priest who held Miguel's funeral the other day.

Elise: Oh, yeah. I knew I recognized those good looks. But why's a priest working as a servant?

Salazar: Oh, if it isn't Lord Antonio and Lady Elise. Is there something I can help you with?

Antonio: No, everything's fine...

Elise: We were just wondering why a priest like you's working as a servant.

Antonio: Elise!

Salazar: Oh, it's quite all right. I can hardly blame you for wondering. There is nothing I can't do, so I try to help out in any way I can.

Salazar: Just between us, I lost my memory ten years ago...

Salazar: ...and Lord Miguel was kind enough to take me in when I had nowhere else to go.

Salazar: I've tried to learn everything I could in order to be of assistance to Lord Miguel ever since.

Elise: But that still doesn't explain why a priest... Oh, forget it.

Antonio: Not to be rude, but is this everyone who was invited? There were far more people at the funeral.

Salazar: Yes, this is everyone.

Salazar: Lord Antonio, Lady Elise, Lord García, Lord Vargas, Lord Roma, Lord Isidoro, Lady Adriana...

Salazar: You all received invitations from Lord Miguel before he passed away. I inspected the invitations myself.

Antonio: All right, but Mr. Miguel is no longer with us. How can you be sure the invitees truly are who they say they are?

Elise: Yeah. Celebs like me and Uncle are one thing, but the rest could be anyone. Especially those hunter guys and the bard.

Salazar: You have every right to be concerned, Lord Antonio.

Salazar: I may not have regained my memories, but rest assured that my loyalty to Lord Miguel is as strong as ever.

Salazar: So if any of these guests do turn out to be interlopers, I will deal with them myself.

Elise: Deal with them how, exactly?

Salazar: As I said, there is nothing I can't do.

Salazar: Now, if you'll kindly excuse me, I'll be right back with the wine for the toast.

Elise: Maybe he's Gabriela's new lover. He definitely seems devoted enough.

Antonio: ...

Gabriela: Lord Antonio, Lady Elise, thank you once again for coming to my Meihousou.

Antonio: You're too kind.

Elise: Ugh, is that all you know how to say?

Salazar: And here are your glasses. You're the last to receive them.

Gabriela: Thank you, Salazar.

Antonio: After you.

Gabriela: Oh no, you first. I am the hostess after all. I will take the last one.

Antonio: I see. Very well then, if you insist.

Antonio: You take one too, Elise.

Elise: ...Hmph.

Gabriela: And I'll take the last glass. ...Good, it looks like everyone else has theirs.

Gabriela: All right, everyone, I hope you'll enjoy your stay here at the Meihousou.

Gabriela: I want you all to relax and make yourselves at home.

Elise: So, how's it feel, Gabby?

Gabriela: I'm sorry?

Elise: You're living high-and-mighty now, and all you had to do was sell your youth to that geezer.

Elise: Good thing you were born poor, huh?

Elise: Hey! You got wine on my dress. What's the big idea?

Gabriela: I'm so...sorry...

Elise: H-huh? What do you think you're doing?

Adriana: Gabriela? Please, stay with us!

Section 2: Introduction

???: Hm, hm, I see... This is a really unusual case.

???: The whole premise is based on a what-if, and yet its whole purpose for being is consistency.

???: This is all so mysterious. I've been up working on it for days, and it still never ceases to surprise.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm so sorry. It took me longer to get ready than I expected! I hope I haven't been keeping you waiting long...?

Dr. Roman: Whoa, whoa, it's okay. You're right on time.

Dr. Roman: Nice to meet you, Murasaki Shikibu. Sorry to call you here on such short notice.

Murasaki Shikibu: Not at all. So, what was this big favor you wanted to ask me...?

Dr. Roman: Well, I've been observing a small Singularity for a while now, and I wanted to ask your help in erasing it.

Dr. Roman: Usually I'd be talking to Fujimaru about this, but I thought it might be best to do a bit of groundwork before bringing [♂ him /♀ her] in.

Dr. Roman: See, this latest case is kind of...unusual.

Dr. Roman: I had Sheba examine it, and it turns out that this Singularity has sort of a...unique structure.

Dr. Roman: It's hard to describe, but it kind of looks like it's in the Caribbean, only it also has a bunch of other locations packed into it...

Dr. Roman: It's kind of like this tiny world with models from various time periods all lined up willy-nilly.

Dr. Roman: These models are all extremely detailed, but none of them are real.

Dr. Roman: I know you aren't familiar with this particular culture, so I hope this is making sense.

Murasaki Shikibu: A tiny world with all sorts of models...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Admittedly I know almost nothing about this, but that sounds like it might be good for filming a moving picture.

Dr. Roman: Yes, exactly. It's a movie.

Murasaki Shikibu: Huh?

Dr. Roman: This latest Singularity is basically a film world. Well, to be completely fair, it's something of an unfinished work so far as I can tell.

Dr. Roman: I'm speculating here, but I think this began when a ghost, probably a director, passed on before he could finish his last movie.

Dr. Roman: Then this ghost probably happened upon a Holy Grail fragment, and ended up making a Singularity out of his regrets.

Dr. Roman: So to resolve this one, we need to focus first and foremost on finishing the movie. But the catch is that the whole premise this world is built on is that the movie is unfinished.

Dr. Roman: This ghost director can never finish the movie on his own, so eventually, when his wish fails to come true, the Singularity should disappear on its own.

Dr. Roman: Since this is such a minute Singularity and all, I estimate that will happen in around three days.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I see. So, we don't have to do anything about it then?

Dr. Roman: Well, yes and no. See, when a Singularity disappears on its own, it doesn't leave anything behind.

Dr. Roman: But, if we resolve what is causing the Singularity and collect the Holy Grail fragments within it, we can get a ton of magical energy.

Dr. Roman: And since Chaldea is constantly running low on magical energy, well... This is very hard for me to say, but...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...You want us to resolve this Singularity before it disappears on its own?

Dr. Roman: Well, yes. And preferably as soon as possible, before it exhausts its magical energy.

Dr. Roman: Like I said, we know what needs to be done to make this Singularity go away. We just have to finish the movie.

Dr. Roman: But once again, since this world's premise is that the movie is unfinished, we're going to need help to do that.

Dr. Roman: The ghost director no longer exists. All that remains now are this world's systems.

Dr. Roman: If I had to give it a name, I guess I'd call it “Drifting Cinema Space Hollywood” or something? Just don't tell Edison about it.

Dr. Roman: He's infamous in Hollywood, after all! I wouldn't be surprised if he were drawn and quartered the moment he Rayshifted there!

Dr. Roman: But enough about Edison.

Dr. Roman: What I'd like from you is for you to make your way into this alternate Hollywood and make sure the movie gets finished somehow.

Dr. Roman: It could be whatever genre you like. The only thing I ask is that you try to make it a good movie if you can.

Dr. Roman: I'm pretty sure that the better the movie turns out, the more resources we can collect when it's over.

Dr. Roman: That's why I asked you to come here. I figured an author Servant would be the best choice to write and direct the film.

Murasaki Shikibu: Huh!?

Murasaki Shikibu: B-but...I don't know the first thing about movies!

Murasaki Shikibu: Poems, novels, plays, and movies might seem to have a lot in common, but they're all very different beasts...

Murasaki Shikibu: B-but all right, I'll try. I know I usually cause nothing but trouble for everyone around here...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...so if there's a way for me to make up for that and show how grateful I am to be here by putting pen to paper, I'll do the best I can.

Dr. Roman: Hahaha, you're an earnest one, aren't you, Murasaki! You'll tire yourself out in no time if you keep that up!

Dr. Roman: You should take a page from Da Vinci's playbook and just smile all the time without a care in the...

Dr. Roman: No, on second thought, the last thing we need is another Da Vinci running around. Besides, like they say, good fences make good neighbors.

Dr. Roman: Basically, do take the assignment seriously, but I hope you'll also take some time to relax, you know?

Dr. Roman: After all, this is a movie we're talking about. You can't make a masterpiece if the crew isn't enjoying themselves.

Dr. Roman: That said, we don't have much crew of our own to spare for this case...or much in the way of supplies and participants.

Dr. Roman: So we need to keep the cast to a minimum, and you need to finish the script ASAP. The Singularity disappears in three days, so you're in for some serious crunch time. Think you can do it?

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I'll do my best.

Murasaki Shikibu: (It's going to be even harder since I didn't get much sleep after staying up all night reading that wonderful book, but I can't back out now!)

Dr. Roman: Thanks, Murasaki. It's really encouraging to hear that.

Dr. Roman: I'll talk to Fujimaru about this and fill [♂ him /♀ her] in...

Dr. Roman: ...so all you have to worry about is coming up with a great movie.

Murasaki Shikibu: Understood. All right then, I suppose I'd better get started...

Murasaki Shikibu: If you need me, I'll be brainstorming down in the library.

Dr. Roman: ...And that's pretty much it!

Fujimaru 1: You sure moved fast on this one!

Fujimaru 2: A creative endeavor this time, huh...

Mash: Thank you for filling us in with thirty percent less tension than usual, Doctor.

Mash: So, how can Senpai and I help? ...Do you need me to be Master's bodyguard?

Dr. Roman: No, we're barely seeing anything in the way of hostilities here, so there shouldn't be any need for that.

Dr. Roman: This time, all you have to do is enjoy yourself, Mash. I do have a job for you though, Fujimaru.

Dr. Roman: Here, take this.

Dr. Roman: Ta-daaa! It's the Chaldean video camera Da Vinci secretly made a while back!

Dr. Roman: Pretty awesome, right? Check out how light it is! Not for nothing, this thing cost us a small fortune!

Dr. Roman: Everything it captures will turn out beautifully no matter how little the cameraperson knows about shooting video, and it can record for dozens of hours straight.

Dr. Roman: I know, why don't you try using it to record your entire daily life for practice! Well, everything except the bedroom and bathroom, of course!

Fujimaru 1: Iiinteresting...

Fujimaru 2: Hmmm...

Mash: (That camera has Senpai utterly entranced...!)

Mash: Um, Doctor, if we're making a movie, won't we need a proper film crew?

Dr. Roman: Unfortunately, we don't have a Heroic Spirit versed in directing film. Well, I think we actually do have one, but I have a feeling it would be more trouble than it's worth.

Dr. Roman: Anyway, as long as we get some kind of film out of it, even if it's just a documentary, everything should be fine.

Dr. Roman: Even if there's an accident or something that means we have to stop shooting, we can still edit something together as long as we have enough footage.

Dr. Roman: I do trust Murasaki Shikibu to do a good job, but since none of the cast has ever acted before, well...you never know.

Dr. Roman: That's why I want you be there recording everything you observe, Fujimaru.

Dr. Roman: You already need to look after your Servants as their Master anyway, so you're the perfect [♂ man /♀ woman] for the job.

Dr. Roman: Anyway, that's all I've got! The rest is up to you guys! You can start by hashing things out with Murasaki!

Murasaki Shikibu: (There do seem to be costumes in the Singularity, but I won't know if we can use them until we get there...)

Murasaki Shikibu: (I'll need to take that into consideration when making my casting decisions. I've already got Servants in mind for most of the parts...)

Murasaki Shikibu: (But, the one best suited to this last role is–)

Mash: Hello, Murasaki. Dr. Roman told us to come see you here.

Mash: Master Fujimaru and [♂ his /♀ her] main Servant, Mash Kyrielight...

Mash: ...are ready to Rayshift at any time.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh, hello, Lady Mash and Master...

Murasaki Shikibu: Th-the script is... Well...

Murasaki Shikibu: ... ...

Fujimaru 1: Murasaki?

Fujimaru 2: Is something wrong?

Murasaki Shikibu: N-no, everything's fine. I already told the cast my idea, and they all said something along the lines of:

Murasaki Shikibu: “I've never made a movie before, but if it will help with Chaldea's resource troubles, I'm in.”

Murasaki Shikibu: ...and readily agreed to participate.

Murasaki Shikibu: If possible, um...I was hoping you would be willing to perform in it too, Lady Mash...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Would that be all right with you?

Mash: Y-yes, I'd be glad to.

Mash: D-don't worry, Senpai. I think I'm a pretty decent actor, if I do say so myself...!

Murasaki Shikibu: Wonderful!

Murasaki Shikibu: All right... As for the rest of the main cast...

Mash: Huh? Is that...Moriarty? I wonder what he's doing there.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...!

Moriarty: ... ...

Moriarty: (Gaaah, my back!)

Moriarty: (Of all the places for this ticking time bomb to go off! Doctor! Where's the doctor!?)

Moriarty: (No, that won't do. Come on, Moriarty old boy, count the decimals in pi and get a hold of yourself... All right, I think I can manage if I can just sit down slowly.)

Moriarty: (Oh crap, I'm losing my balance!)

Nursery Rhyme: Hey, mister? Did you see the book with a peppermint-green hardcover I left around here?

Nursery Rhyme: It's very delicate, so it could fall apart if someone steps on it by mistake. Have you seen it anywhere?

Moriarty: Hmm. A peppermint-green book, you say.

Moriarty: (That's the very book I just destroyed!)

Moriarty: Well, um, as a matter of fact...I think I saw someone take it with him before I sat down here? (Lying through his teeth)

Nursery Rhyme: Oh, okay. Then...I'll wait here until he comes back.

Moriarty: I'm sorry, my girl, but you would be wasting your time. You'll feel better if you resign yourself to never seeing him again.

Nursery Rhyme: Really? Then...what should I do?

Moriarty: Well, I would hate to see a child cry.

Moriarty: All right, I tell you what. I'll give you anything else your heart desires instead!

Moriarty: (And while I'm doing that, I'd better think of a way to somehow repair the book!)

Moriarty: (Let's see, was there a Servant here who could go back in time, or restore an object's physical integrity...?)

Murasaki Shikibu: Um, Lord James Moriarty?

Moriarty: Y-yes, what is it? Can't you see I'm busy scheming right now!?

Murasaki Shikibu: There's something complicated I'd like to talk to you about, if you don't mind.

Moriarty: ...I see. Yes, of course! I don't mind at all!

Moriarty: As long as it doesn't involve my poor back!

Nursery Rhyme: You guys are going to talk about grown-up stuff, huh? Okay, I'll try not to bother you then.

Nursery Rhyme: Just please don't forget your promise, mister.

Moriarty: I won't! I'll take care of it just as soon as we're done here!

Moriarty: (I'm saved...!)

Murasaki Shikibu: Well, it all started when...

Moriarty: ...I see. Under the circumstances, I would certainly be willing to perform...

Moriarty: ...on one condition.

Murasaki Shikibu: What is it?

Moriarty: I'd like you to restore a book for me. ...Or rather...

Moriarty: ...to forgive me for inadvertently ruining it.

Moriarty: You are the mistress of books, yes? Surely you can fix it?

Moriarty: Please, tell me you can fix it!

Murasaki Shikibu: (Ah, thank goodness... I knew he would be perfect for the most difficult part!)

Murasaki Shikibu: ...[♂ Lord /♀ Lady] Fujimaru. Lady Mash. Lord Moriarty.

Murasaki Shikibu: Our task this time is not to win a battle, but to perform a story.

Murasaki Shikibu: Please do keep that in mind.

Murasaki Shikibu: A-all right, then let's go Rayshift to our filming location...Drifting Cinema Space Hollywood!

Section 3: Accident

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: ...You contemptible wretch. Even I couldn't have imagined you would be so self-serving.

Moriarty: Please don't think too poorly of me, General Tan. If anyone here is to blame, I would say it's you.

Murasaki Shikibu: Cut. That take was just fine.

Moriarty: Phew... All we need to do now is add the voice-over.

Murasaki Shikibu: That's a wrap for Lord Tajima-no-kami and Lord Izo. Thank you both for your help.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: So that is all there is for me to do here... Everything ended so abruptly.

Moriarty: And here I thought you would give up on this before I did. It seems I'm less patient than I thought.

Moriarty: ...You must have lost track of his sheer number of retakes long ago.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: I am happy to help in any manner my lord wishes, no matter how difficult that task may be.

Moriarty: I see. I almost envy your sheer steadfastness.

Mash: I loved your nihilistic performance, Izo. I thought there was a lot of depth to it!

Mash: All you need to do now is rest up in Chaldea. I'll let you know as soon as the movie is ready for a screening!

Izo: ...No.

Mash: Huh?

Izo: Ryouma and the others're showing up soon, right? I bet they're planning to throw another party without me.

Izo: Well, if they think they can just “forget” to invite me again, they've got another thing coming.

Murasaki Shikibu: Lord Izo, I promise you, we're just filming a movie. Nobody is throwing any par–

Izo: Besides, you're only just now mentioning that this is all you have for me. You trying to pull a fast one on me?

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: ...Good grief.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: It seems we have an overexcited puppy here who still needs to be housebroken.

Izo: Ha! Bring it, old man! I was just thinking I could use a decent workout!


Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Hrn.

Izo: Aaaaah!

Izo: You...got me? No, I'm all right. But I could have sworn you cut right through me.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: I twisted my blade around immediately before striking, leaving you with only the feeling of having been cut.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: There are many reasons to leave an opponent feeling as though they have been wounded without truly harming them.

Izo: Don't you try that dojo fencing shit on me, old man.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Heh. Your incessant yapping is ill-suited to a pup who has never seen a battlefield.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Besides, this...dojo something or other you speak of–

Izo: Dojo fencing!

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Yes, that. Even in a dojo, fighters will duel with wooden swords. These swords may not cause injury, but it does hurt to be struck by one.

Izo: ...What's your point?

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: I am told that in modern times, there is a form of dueling employing nonlethal blades where fighters do not strike their opponents.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: In other words, they merely make it seem as though they are striking their opponent, like so.

Izo: And? Is that supposed to be entertaining or something?

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: This form of showmanship designed to resemble a fight to the death to onlookers is called “fight choreography.”

Izo: Showmanship? Swordplay's not spectacle.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: Well, that is where you come in. I wonder just how far you could go in this modern vein of choreographed fighting?

Izo: Hmph! You couldn't pay me enough to be part of that stupid play fighting!

Izo: I've had enough. I'm going to let Ryouma handle this pain-in-the-ass movie stuff. I'm gonna head back to get something to drink.

Moriarty: Well done. I must say, for a moment there, I wasn't at all sure how things would play out.

Moriarty: Oh my, you're bleeding...

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: ...Heh.

Moriarty: I'm so sorry we've foisted this thankless role upon you.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: No need for apologies. We cannot say for sure whose role is thankless until all is said and done.

Yagyu Tajima-no-kami: ...Now then, my time here is over. I wish you well with what is yet to come in this endeavor.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh gosh, oh gosh...

Murasaki Shikibu: I-I felt a little dizzy back there, but I think I'm okay now... Phew...

Moriarty: Izo was clearly taken aback at learning that he had such a small role...

Moriarty: You should have just told him from the beginning. Why keep it a secret?

Murasaki Shikibu: Well...I was actually planning to...um...

Murasaki Shikibu: Hm? Who's that?

D:???: So this is where all that commotion I heard was coming from... Are you filming something here?

Moriarty: Hm? I say, who are you, and where did you come from?

D:???: Unfortunately, I actually don't remember my name.

D:???: I do have the sense that I was called to film a movie, but no matter how long I waited, the filming never began...

D:???: Heh... If you hadn't come here, I think I would just be waiting around to disappear.

Murasaki Shikibu: Then, does that mean you would be willing to help us make this movie?

D:???: Of course. If it's all right with you, I would be glad to help.

Moriarty: That's all well and good, but what do we call you if you don't remember your name?

Murasaki Shikibu: I-I might have an idea! What if we called you “Salazar”?

D:???: Hmm, Salazar... I think that has a lovely ring to it.

Murasaki Shikibu: It's the name of a character I had yet to cast, but if it's all right with you...

Salazar: In that case, I would be honored if you were to call me “Salazar” from now on.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm Murasaki Shikibu, and this is Lord James Moriarty.

Salazar: So, might I inquire as to the nature of the role that you need me to play, both philosophically and metaphorically?

Salazar: Heh... Whatever it is, I promise you I will perform it brilliantly.

Moriarty: (What do philosophy and metaphor have to do with acting?)

Murasaki Shikibu: The rest of the main cast should be joining us soon, so I'll tell you once they're all here.

Jeanne Alter: So, remind me why in the hell you've got me wearing this dress.

Jeanne Alter: I mean, I'm not complaining or anything. I actually kinda like it.

Murasaki Shikibu: It looks beautiful on you.

Jeanne Alter: Yeah. 'Course it does. (Unconvincing humblebrag)

Murasaki Shikibu: Now that we've finished shooting the prologue, we'll be moving on to the main story.

Murasaki Shikibu: Although, I'm afraid there's something mortifying I still need to tell you...

Murasaki Shikibu: The truth is...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I still haven't finished the script!

Jeanne Alter: What the shit!?

Murasaki Shikibu: I-I do have the whole story in my head... I just haven't had time to write it down yet...

Murasaki Shikibu: S-s-s-so I'm afraid...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...I'll have to ask you to learn all of your lines anew each time we shoot a new scene...

Murasaki Shikibu: Once again, I'm so very sorry!

Jeanne Alter: Are you shitting me!?

Fujimaru 1: T-to be fair, this was all really short notice...

Jeanne Alter: ...Ugh, fine. But keep my lines short, got it?

Jeanne Alter: Twenty-word limit, far as I'm concerned. Anything more and I'll burn you.

Ryouma: Hey, go easy on her. She's been handling just about everything for this production all by herself.

Ryouma: By the way, can I ask which Servant you are? I don't think I recognize you.

Salazar: You can call me Salazar.

Salazar: Although that's just the character I play, since I can't remember my own name.

Murasaki Shikibu: I asked Lord Salazar to play Father Salazar.

Murasaki Shikibu: Father Salazar also has amnesia, and doesn't know anything about his past, so it seemed a perfect fit.

Mash: It's nice to meet you, Salazar.

Salazar: ... ...

Mash: ...Um, Salazar?

Salazar: The pleasure is all mine, milady.

Salazar: Why, you positively radiate intelligence from beneath those gorgeous flaxen locks.

Mash: Flaxe–

Salazar: This shoot is already well worth it now that I've gotten to meet such a beautiful young lady as you.

Mash: I, um... That's...very flattering, but...

Salazar: I would love to talk to you more under different circumstances, but alas–

Fujimaru 1: Hi there! I'm Fujimaru, Mash's exclusive [♂ cameraman /♀ camerawoman]!

Fujimaru 2: I agree with everything you said about her, but hands off!

Salazar: Right, of course. How could such a beauty as her not already be taken?

Salazar: Very well then, I will instead devote my energies entirely to acting.

Jeanne Alter: Isn't that what you should've been doing in the first place? Freakin' dumbass.

Salazar: Who can say?

Jeanne Alter: Oh, I'm so gonna light your ass on fire...

Moriarty: Now, now. That's quite enough of that.

Murasaki Shikibu: All right, now that you all know your roles, I'd like to begin filming right away.

Murasaki Shikibu: I still have a lot to learn about movies, s-so I hope that you'll all bear with me!

Moriarty: Master... Master!

Fujimaru 1: I'm kind of trying to film a movie here...

Fujimaru 2: Shh!

Moriarty: Oh, you can always edit out my whispering in postproduction.

Moriarty: I must say I'm rather impressed by how well everyone is doing, especially given that there was no rehearsal.

Moriarty: According to Murasaki Shikibu's explanation...

Moriarty: Antonio is an up-and-coming composer who used to be the country's court musician, and Elise, his niece, is a singer.

Moriarty: Meanwhile, Gabriela is the erstwhile foster-daughter, now widow of my character, Miguel.

Moriarty: Apparently, I raised her for about a decade, only to die off shortly after marrying her...

Moriarty: ...Hm? Isn't that sort of character right up Murasaki's alley? Wasn't there something like this in her magnum opus? What will future generations think of me?

Fujimaru 1: Nothing good, that's for sure.

Moriarty: Wonderful...

Fujimaru 2: It'll be fiiiiine.

Moriarty: Easy for you to say!

Moriarty: Roma Kureishi used to be my–Miguel's subordinate, though, judging from his background he also seems to be something of an unusual character.

Moriarty: Vargas and García are pretending to be hunters, but apparently...

Moriarty: ...Vargas is actually Nadai Nadha's former prince, and García is his attendant. I bet they're here to cause trouble.

Moriarty: As for Salazar there, I don't know much about him either, so I'll let someone more qualified speak to his role in all this.

Moriarty: At any rate, given that there hasn't been a single cut since this scene began, things would appear to be going quite smoothly. At this rate, we may be finished here much sooner than I originally–

Moriarty: Hmm?

Moriarty: Master, something's not right with her!

Moriarty: Well this is a fine mess, Master! Oh, and just to be clear, I had no hand in it!

Moriarty: I don't even have a motive!

Section 4: Filming Must Continue!

Mash: Oh no. Murasaki Shikibu just collapsed!

Fujimaru 1: Murasaki! A-are you all right!?

Mash: It's okay Senpai. Please keep recording. I'm sure we can handle this!

Arash: For the time being, we should bring her somewhere with a proper bed to rest. I think there was a room over that way, right?

Ozymandias: Indeed. It is a small room, but we certainly cannot leave a beautiful sage like her lying on the floor.

Jeanne Alter: So how is she? I know she's probably not dead since she hasn't disappeared, but that's all I can tell.

Ryouma: Well, she's still breathing. But I have no idea when she might wake up.

Jeanne Alter: You the one who prepared our drinks?

Salazar: I was not. While I did serve the drinks...I didn't have time to add anything to them even had I wished to.

Fujimaru 1: I didn't see anything funny when I was recording, either...

Mash: Wait. Assuming I'm remembering correctly...

Mash: I think I saw her taking what looked like some sort of medicine before she entered the ballroom.

Salieri: Ghh... Ngh...

Mash: Salieri?

Salieri: ...Don't you dare look at me.

Salieri: What do you want me to perform? Who demands it? What else are you trying to pin on me!?

Salieri: Aaaaaahhh! I... I... I...

Arash: Ahh, ahem! Ahem, ahem! Any moment now, ahem! (Glancing)

Salieri: Shut up!!! I... I...!

Salieri: ... ...

Salieri: ...I am the actor playing Antonio. Nothing more, nothing less.

Arash: Phew. Glad that's over with.

Arash: Anyway, this is all really weird. Murasaki Shikibu's the writer and director for the picture, right? I can't see why she'd want to poison herself.

Mash: I don't know what she took or why, but if nothing else...I think this absolves Salazar.

Ozymandias: Archer.

Arash: Hm? What's up?

Ozymandias: Why are you wasting our time? You could settle matters right this moment with your Clairvoyance.

Arash: Oh, that? Uh...

Arash: Would you believe that I'm having a hard time using it in this Singularity?

Ozymandias: Hmm. Very well. If that is what you claim, I will take you at your word...

Ryouma: Hm... Hey, Salazar.

Ryouma: Given your choice of words earlier, I take it you aren't the one who prepared the drinks then?

Salazar: No, I wasn't. All the glasses had already been filled by the time I picked up the tray.

Tristan: Then who did prepare the drinks?

Tristan: Whoever it was, if you're innocent, now is the time to speak up.

Moriarty: ...

Fujimaru 1: Oh for... Don't tell me.

Moriarty: I did.

Moriarty: Whoa, whoa, just a moment there. Why are you all looking at each other as if to say, “Glad that's settled. Now we can all go home”?

Moriarty: I'll have you know I was simply doing my job as this movie's production assistant!

Moriarty: I even brought this grape juice straight from Chaldea so it could be used in the very scene you were filming!

Jeanne Alter: Uh-huh. Sure you did. How about you save us all a lotta headache and just confess, old man?

Holmes: That is quite enough with the baseless accusations. I have already solved this particular mystery.

Fujimaru 1: Holmes!

Fujimaru 2: Isn't that kind of fast, even for you?

Holmes: Simply put, there is no responsible party in this case. It is merely an unfortunate accident.

Holmes: My witness here can testify to that.

Holmes: I just happened to be paying him a visit to have him help me with a few... On second thought, never mind what I was doing.

Holmes: All that matters right now is that he knows the truth of what took place there.

Paracelsus: First, I have a question for all of you.

Paracelsus: Have any of you seen some wrapping paper with the words “Hohenheim: Safe, Cutting-edge, Forward-thinking”? Perhaps in a trash can somewhere?

Mash: Um, there's a trash can over there. Let me take a look...

Mash: Yes, there is. It says it right here. “Hohenheim: Safe, Cutting-edge, Forward-thinking”!

Paracelsus: Then it's just as I suspected.

Paracelsus: That's the medicine I prescribed for her.

Paracelsus: As you know, it puts the patient into a state of deep sleep until they completely recover from their fatigue.

Fujimaru 1: This stuff put us in a bind last time too...

Paracelsus: She asked me to prescribe something that would help with her exhaustion...

Paracelsus: ...so I gave her two doses of that medicine.

Moriarty: See!? What did I tell you!? I'm an innocent man! Innocent! Let me say it one more time: In! No! Ceeent!

Jeanne Alter: Yeah, yeah. La-di-freakin'-da. Enjoy it while it lasts, geezer. Prolly won't ever happen again.

Holmes: It seems Ms. Murasaki had been up the entire previous night when she agreed to take on this project.

Holmes: Given that she must have already been exhausted from lack of sleep before she even began the challenging work of writing the script and putting the production together...

Holmes: ...it is no great surprise that she thought to ask Paracelsus for help in dealing with her fatigue.

Jeanne Alter: No shit, Sherlock. Staying up for days on end seriously messes with your decision-making.

Paracelsus: ...I did wonder why she wanted the medicine, but decided it wasn't my place to pry.

Paracelsus: Perhaps it would have been better had I done so in this case. My apologies, Master...

Holmes: Having reached her limit, Ms. Murasaki decided to resort to Paracelsus's medicine, and collapsed shortly thereafter.

Holmes: As should be abundantly clear by now, this was simply a set of completely understandable circumstances culminating in an unfortunate accident.

Holmes: Naturally I looked into the professor there, but alas, for once he is indeed innocent. He may be a reprobate among reprobates, but in this particular case, his conduct has not been questionable.

Moriarty: What do you mean “alas”?

Moriarty: At any rate, good show proving my innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt, Holmes old chap!

Moriarty: I can't actually say that I am grateful to you, but thanks just the same! (Radiating insincerity)

Holmes: ...Hahaha, you're quite welcome. (Equally insincere)

Holmes: For my part, I would much rather not reduce Chaldea's fighting forces unless it were strictly necessary, so I'm thrilled to be able to resolve this peacefully.

Jeanne Alter: Guess that means you're innocent too then. My bad.

Salazar: Oh, I can't blame you for that. I'm just glad this misunderstanding has been cleared up.

Moriarty: Hmm? What about my apology?

Jeanne Alter: Piss off, creep.

Dr. Roman: Hmm... I'm glad that's cleared up, but now what are we gonna do?

Dr. Roman: I don't see how we can keep shooting a movie without its writer and director...

Dr. Roman: Wait, I've got it! We've still got options!

Dr. Roman: After all, Chaldea's also got not just one, but two other extraordinary writers among our ranks!

Andersen: Absolutely not.

Shakespeare: Nary a line shall I write!

Dr. Roman: But I didn't even ask you yet! Why're you both turning this down!?

Dr. Roman: It's not like this is a physically intensive job, and you should both be able to make full use of your talents!

Shakespeare: Lady Murasaki is the one who crafted this story.

Shakespeare: I've never been shy about offering my opinions on others' lives, but I have not a word to say on the subject of others' stories!

Shakespeare: Besides, I have no idea of her intentions regarding the story's direction or conclusion!

Shakespeare: I wouldn't dare try to take it over myself with so many unknowns!

Dr. Roman: Really? I wouldn't have figured the great William Shakespeare would be afraid of a little unfinished story.

Andersen: It's not a matter of courage, you buffoon. He just has the sense to know his goddamn place!

Andersen: Yes, there are only so many ways to structure a story or develop a plot.

Andersen: An author of Shakespeare's caliber could easily write a continuation to this story on the spot if he so desired!

Andersen: But there's more to stories than just their structure and plot. They must also have themes!

Andersen: The theme shapes everything about a story. It's the soul of the work; the core idea that answers the question of why the author wrote it.

Andersen: And every writer worth the ink in their pen knows trying to continue a story when you don't know the theme can only result in a mess.

Andersen: There's an expression from the Far East that sums it up well: “One can make an image of the Buddha, but one cannot make his spirit.”

Andersen: Do you really want Shakespeare to waste his time writing soulless drivel like that?

Shakespeare: (I've certainly written my share of soulless drivel purely for entertainment, but this hardly seems a good moment to mention that.)

Shakespeare: I-indeed. It would be one thing if Lady Murasaki were supervising my efforts, but given her current incapacitation, my hands are firmly tied.

Shakespeare: Even if she did have notes or an unfinished script to peruse, there is every possibility that the whole affair may change dramatically by the final revision.

Andersen: There, you see? We're shit out of luck.

Andersen: The only thing we can do now is wait for Sleeping Beauty there to wake up.

Andersen: I swear, this is the whole problem with popular writers. They don't even know how to take care of themselves...

Dr. Roman: I-I see... I guess it makes sense that a famous author would be a little...reluctant to take over another famous author's work...

Dr. Roman: But man, now what are we gonna do? I guess we'll just have to give up on this Singularity's magical energy...

Shakespeare: Maybe, maybe not. In spite of everything we just said, I do get the sense that this story is well on its way.

Shakespeare: Between the background exposition, character introductions, and this latest shocking event, I'd say all the pieces are in place for an interesting story indeed.

Dr. Roman: But you're still not going to write the rest, are you?

Shakespeare: Indeed not. We have no wish to incur the noble lady's ire, after all.

Shakespeare: However, if the cast were to take over their characters themselves, I suspect she would be willing to accept that.

Shakespeare: What do you say, everyone? Would you be willing to continue playing your parts and see where this story goes from there?

Mash: Huh!?

Andersen: Aha. I hadn't considered that approach.

Andersen: Instead of outsiders like us taking over, we have the cast continue on in the spirit they inherited from their director...

Andersen: Yes, I doubt Murasaki would have anything to cry about in that case. Brilliant, William! Truly cunning!

Andersen: We've got a mansion with a lot of history, a beautiful widow who inherited a fortune, and a bizarre assortment of guests...

Andersen: It's a damn near perfect setting for a mystery. Off the top of my head, you could call it something like “A Meihousou Most Foul.”

Shakespeare: In other words...

Shakespeare: You're the lead actors now!

Jeanne Alter: Hohohoho. Hey, dipsticks. How about a little reality check, eh?


Holmes: ...How about you, Professor? Perhaps you could make yourself useful for a change?

Moriarty: Hmm, the problem is, I would never come up with such a slapdash scheme. I prefer my schemes to have wrapped up nicely before anyone knows something is amiss.

Shakespeare: While the idea of writing a mystery based on one of Sir Moriarty's criminal plots does sound appealing, I'm afraid I'll need to give it a pass this time.

Shakespeare: When writing a mystery, you begin with the end and work backwards. Every character introduced must have a purpose and everything should be wrapped up neatly in the end.

Shakespeare: Conversely, such stories tend not to be particularly dynamic.

Andersen: Right. If everything fits together too neatly, the story starts to feel robotic.

Andersen: Ideally, you want the characters to ignore the writer's carefully laid plot entirely and start going about their own affairs.

Andersen: Don't worry. As long as you all commit yourselves to your parts, the rest of the story will basically write itself.

Andersen: I guarantee it'll be an absolute train wreck, but at least you'll get it done!

Ryouma: I think even that might be giving us too much credit. Like Jeanne said, none of us have ever acted before.

Andersen: Do you guys have a mirror there? Yes? Then spend an hour or so and take a good, long look at yourselves.

Andersen: Listen to me. Every last one of you is already a character. You're all famous enough to be engraved onto history itself. You're inherently interesting just by your very existence!

Andersen: As long as you all seriously commit to your parts, the end result can't help but be compelling drama!

Shakespeare: ...Yes, indeed. If nothing else, it will be compelling!

Shakespeare: And even if it isn't, well, that's all right too! Everyone should experience abject failure at least once or twice!

Jeanne Alter: Been there, done that. Thanks for reminding me, prick...

Dr. Roman: Hmm. So, long story short, you're going to keep filming, right?

Dr. Roman: Well, I did say that at worst, we could always make a documentary, and it's definitely not like we expected everything to go smoothly.

Dr. Roman: I'll have to ask Mash to focus on looking after Murasaki Shikibu, but as for the rest of you...

Dr. Roman: Jeanne. Ryouma. Salazar. Tristan. Ozymandias. Arash. Man in Grey.

Dr. Roman: And of course, Fujimaru.

Dr. Roman: I'm counting on all of you to keep an eye on the General, the camera rolling, and to do your best to make this as good a movie as possible!

Section 5: Improv Theater

Antonio: There you are. Will you be able to get the wine stain out?

Elise: I think so. But I couldn't give less of a shit about that right now.

Elise: How's Gabriela doing?

Roma: She's still alive, though she's hanging on by a thread. And there's no telling what could happen next.

Roma: I expect it's going to be some time before she can tell us what happened.

García: So we've got no choice but to be patient until we can find out who did this, huh.

Isidoro: I'm not so sure. Even if Gabriela were to regain consciousness now...

Isidoro: ...I doubt even she could tell us who poisoned her glass.

Elise: Where'd that come from? Suddenly trying to play detective or something?

Isidoro: As a matter of fact, I don't play anything. My traveling musician act was actually a facade.

Adriana: His true identity is Isidoro Poggioli, the great detective.

Adriana: And I'm his assistant detective, Adriana Molinari.

Isidoro: ...Would you mind not stepping on my lines, Adriana?

Adriana: Oh! I'm sorry.

García: Great detective Isidoro Poggioli, huh. Never heard of you.

Isidoro: Of course not. Most of my cases come directly from high-ranking government officials, so I can't imagine the common man would know my name.

Antonio: So you're in a line of work that requires no self-promotion, are you? Wouldn't that be nice, Elise?

Elise: I don't know if I buy it. Maybe the higher-ups just use him to bury facts they don't like.

Isidoro: Those who know me sometimes call me “The Closer.”

Isidoro: I can understand your trepidation, but I hope you will trust us.

Roma: A detective, huh. Usually, in my experience, having a detective around is nothing but bad news, but I guess it's a good thing you're here in this case.

Roma: Then, I suppose your client this time must be the old man himself?

Isidoro: Right you are. Our first president, Miguel Ángel Cortés, hired me to be here.

Isidoro: He said he wanted me to investigate if anything happened after he was gone.

Isidoro: I was hoping there would be no need for my services, but alas, it seems luck was not on our side... Sometimes I curse the way cases seem to follow wherever I go.

Roma: It always kind of scared me how thorough the old man was about this sort of thing.

Roma: It's almost like he knew exactly what would happen after he was gone.

Adriana: Mr. Poggioli has an amazing talent for attracting cases wherever he goes. He's also known as “Isidoro the Reaper”!

Isidoro: (Obviously proud)

Elise: Yeah... Well that's not ominous at all.

Vargas: You there. Salazar, or whatever your name was... Are you sure Miguel never told you anything about this?

Salazar: Not a word. Maybe...Lord Miguel never really trusted me after all.

Adriana: Cheer up, Salazar. It's much too early to say that.

Salazar: Thank you, milady. Your kind words are certainly soothing to hear under the circumstances.

Adriana: You're welcome.

Adriana: Anyway, getting back to the question at hand: Why would anyone want to harm Gabriela?

Elise: Seriously? You actually have to ask?

Adriana: Huh?

Elise: Uh, Cortés's legacy? What are you, an idiot?

Elise: He collected some really amazing shit back when he was a general. It apparently would've easily kept him in power even if he'd had to retire.

Elise: ...At least, that's the rumor I overheard at a dinner with some high-ranking government officials.

Elise: So if Gabriela inherited something that great, it's no wonder someone else'd want her out of the picture, right?

Adriana: But that's still only a rumor, right?

Elise: What, you don't believe me?

Roma: Cortés's legacy is no rumor. Trust me, I used to work under him.

Roma: I was a medical officer, so I had access to lots of different places. As a result, I was made to gather evidence of wrongdoing on all sorts of people.

Roma: And of course, the evidence I gathered was only a tiny fraction of the whole.

Roma: All told, I bet there were dozens of government officials who had collars slapped on them like that.

Roma: And it's not just skeevy blackmail material, either. I'd bet anything the legacy also includes priceless letters and works of art from the former kingdom.

Roma: And I'd also bet that it's all here somewhere in this enormous mansion.

Antonio: ...

García: Damn, that's quite a story. So if anyone managed to take this legacy for themself, they'd be Nadai Nadha's next ruler, huh?

Vargas: So that is why Gabriela was poisoned...

Vargas: Still, even if the culprit did succeed at eliminating her, that does not mean they would automatically inherit this legacy, right?

Roma: They might not have to. Some people–say high-ranking government officials–would be happy just to have it conveniently disappear.

Roma: I'd guess their next move will either be to try and kill Gabriela again, or to just kill all of us.

Vargas: But if they merely wanted to bury this legacy, it would be much more expedient to just set it all ablaze, especially after we all went to bed.

García: 'Course, I doubt that'll work now that they've got us all on guard, even if they don't plan on doing anything too drastic just yet.

Elise: Yeah, well that's not gonna be a big help if their next move is to just poison all our food.

Elise: Not considering how Gabriela just collapsed right after she drank the wine that guy brought her.

Antonio: Stop it, Elise!

Salazar: No, it's all right. Lady Elise has every reason to be suspicious.

Salazar: Very well, how about this?

Salazar: After I have prepared your meals, I will taste them before serving to make sure they are safe.

Vargas: So you want to be our food taster? There are any number of ways you could fake that if you wanted to.

García: Sorry about Vargas; he's suspicious about pretty much everything. Though of course, that helps us a lot when we're out on the hunt.

García: Anyway, if you don't mind, we'd appreciate it if you could just share some nonperishables with us.

Vargas: ...Of course, if you cannot, we will simply go out and hunt our own food.

Adriana: Couldn't the nonperishables be poisoned as well?

García: I can check for poison too. All I gotta do is brush it against my lips or the tip of my tongue.

García: Smell can tell you a lot about something too.

García: Actually, something already smells fishy... There's no way this scent could be natural.

García: It's coming from over here!

Vargas: Hey! García!

Isidoro: We should follow them.

García: There!

García: This portrait. It smells like wet paint.

Roma: I see your nose is as sharp as your tongue, García. I can smell it too, now that I'm this close.

Roma: How long has this portrait been here, Salazar?

Salazar: I believe it was completed when Lord Miguel was still with us.

Adriana: Does anything seem different about it to you?

Salazar: ...I'm afraid I can't tell what might have been changed. I'm sorry I didn't study it closer when I had the chance.

Antonio: A true artist puts their heart and soul into the smallest details of their work, including those most people will never see or appreciate. It's perfectly understandable that you wouldn't be able to notice them at a glance.

Antonio: The important thing to take away from this is that someone altered this painting extremely recently.

Antonio: Though I suppose it's possible the artist simply decided they didn't like some part of how it came out, and decided to fix it. They certainly wouldn't be the first to go back and alter their past work.

Roma: ...Damn. It's all connected.

Roma: Paints like cadmium yellow and vermilion contain harmful heavy metals.

Roma: And while I can't yet be certain, Gabriela's symptoms definitely strike me as similar to heavy metal poisoning.

Roma: I doubt the paint was added directly to her drink, but the culprit could have extracted the heavy metals from it.

Isidoro: ...So you're saying that whoever altered the painting would have to have access to paint...

Isidoro: ...and that they used it to create the poison.

Roma: Basically.

Isidoro: It's a bit of a stretch, but the logic does hold. Very well, just to be certain, let me ask you all this: Do any of you currently have any paint?

Adriana: ...It looks like nobody is volunteering to come forward, Mr. Poggioli. Does that mean...

Isidoro: Yes. This is definitely...one of those cases.

Elise: Oh quit the damn theatrics and just spit it out!

Isidoro: Very well then, if I may be so bold...

Isidoro: One of you is the cowardly culprit behind this Meihousou mystery... The Portrait Painter!

Section 6: "Cinema Builders"

Mash: Great job, everyone! That was amazing, especially considering that none of you has ever acted before!

Mash: Especially you, Tristan! That last line of yours had my heart absolutely pounding!

Tristan: Hehe. Any Knight of the Round Table could have done the same. Let's just say that performances of that nature are nothing unusual for us...

Jeanne Alter: Don't flatter him, Mash. Little Strummer Boy here was just shouting the first thing that popped into that birdbrain of his.

Jeanne Alter: The hell were you thinking, saying one of us is the culprit!? Now what're we gonna do if a new character shows up!?

Tristan: Alas, she speaks the truth...which makes me sad.

Tristan: I did indeed merely shout the first thing that came to my mind.

Fujimaru 1: You never change, do you, Tristan...

Tristan: Despite your praise, I am still deeply saddened...

Fujimaru 2: That was so unhelpful it almost circled back to being helpful.

Tristan: Yes, by all means, continue to praise me.


Ryouma: At least we managed to tie everything together.

Arash: Hahaha, sorry about that! I just sort of followed my gut without realizing where it was taking me.

Ozymandias: Not at all. This has given us a clear path to the story's conclusion! All we need to do now is find this Portrait Painter and bring them to justice.

Shakespeare: Hmm, I'm afraid there's still something lacking. We need to turn up the heat, so to speak.

Jeanne Alter: What do you mean?

Shakespeare: The mystery has indeed been unveiled, and I agree that this story's plot now has a clear direction.

Shakespeare: But the audience still doesn't know who your characters truly are.

Shakespeare: Did Lady Murasaki not go over their backgrounds with you?

Fujimaru 1: I don't think so...

Andersen: Seriously? I've heard of playing it close to the chest, but this is just ridiculous.

Shakespeare: Hmm. It's a shame she didn't make a chart or some such with all the characters' histories.

Andersen: You don't have an audience surrogate either, and there haven't been any monologues reinforcing any of the characters' inner motivations.

Andersen: If you keep this up, you may as well just be a bunch of marionettes going whichever way the current scene's strings pull you.

Salazar: You don't mince words, do you...

Shakespeare: Which is why for the next scene, we would like you to invent some reason for your characters to go off on their own.

Mash: Ooh, I know! Maybe something like...

Mash: “I'm not gonna stand around here waiting for the killer to stab me in the back! I'm going back to my room!”

Mash: Would that work!?

Fujimaru 1: Would it! We've got to have a scene like that!

Fujimaru 2: You're really enjoying this, aren't you, Mash?

Shakespeare: That would certainly be one natural reaction. But regrettably, it would also leave little room for further developments!

Shakespeare: And extreme fear can neither fight nor fly, but coward-like with trembling terror die.

Shakespeare: From what I have seen of your performances thus far, none of you are playing characters sufficiently cowardly to take that route.

Shakespeare: For example, what do you think your character would do next, Sir Salieri?

Salieri: Who cares!?

Salieri: Graaah! What's going on? What am I doing here!? Mooozaaarrrt!!!

Arash: Ahh, ahem! Ahem, ahem! (Side glance)

Salieri: GraaaaaaAAAHHH!!!

Salieri: !!!

Salieri: Gh... Ghh... R-right... I...

Salieri: I...don't think I have a very firm grasp on Antonio's character...but...

Salieri: ...I think if I were innocent, I would try to foil the culprit's plot in order to further my own goals.

Salieri: And if I WERE the culprit...

Salieri: ...I'm certain I would only pretend to cooperate with everyone else while I plotted my next move.

Salieri: Especially since I still haven't accomplished my goal of murdering Gabriela. Either way, simply hiding in my room would not be an option.

Jeanne Alter: What a coincidence, “Uncle.” I was just thinking the same thing.

Salieri: ...Please don't ever call me that again when we aren't filming.

Shakespeare: I beg to differ! On the stage–or set, in this case–there is nothing wrong with staying in the headspace of one's character!

Tristan: Now I see. Even if we don't know who the culprit is, the most natural thing to do here would be to try and suss one another out without arousing suspicion.

Shakespeare: Exactly. That sort of push and pull is what gives a good ensemble story its chemistry.

Andersen: This is what people usually mean when they say good characters write themselves. Though of course, if you don't write yourselves here, there will be no story at all, really.

Salazar: Hmm. Unfortunately, given my amnesia, I don't know if I'm capable of coming up with something clever to say.

Shakespeare: What if the topic were Lady Mash?

Salazar: Oh yes, I could gush about her eyes and hair for days on end and still not run out of things to say!

Fujimaru 1: Hmmm...

Mash: Is something wrong, Master?

Fujimaru 2: Eyes... Hair... That sounds familiar...

Jeanne Alter: ...Yeah...

Jeanne Alter: I feel like I heard...some really stupid conversation about that once...

Mash: ?

Shakespeare: At any rate, I encourage you all to continue getting into your characters' heads...

Shakespeare: ...for that is the only way we have left to us with which we can properly repair this Singularity!

Holmes: ... ...

Ozymandias: There is one thing I still do not understand. Why are you and I pretending to be lowly hunters?

Arash: Hmm, good question... If you're the kingdom's former prince, and I'm your attendant...

Arash: ...what if it were because we're both wanted criminals, with bounties on our heads? That way, we'd have to hunt just to survive while we're on the run.

Ozymandias: Hehe. Haha. Hahahahahahahahaha! Me, a fugitive!

Ozymandias: What an amusing idea!

Fujimaru 1: You might be getting a little too...royal.

Fujimaru 2: You're a little too proud to hide.

Arash: Okay then, what if, as the former prince, you were secretly going around trying to make your country a better place?

Arash: They say land outlasts kingdoms, right? Your old nation may be gone, but its people are still living their lives.

Arash: You could be here trying to ensure their welfare, and I could be your partner. What do you think of that?

Ozymandias: ...Hmm.

Arash: Hm?

Arash: I hope I didn't offen–

Ozymandias: Not bad!

Ozymandias: Hahahaha, traveling my land to make it a better place is a much more amusing idea than being a fugitive!

Ozymandias: Very well then, let the filming recommence! Come, García!

Arash: You got it!

Andersen: (...Damn, another dead end.)

Andersen: (I was hoping she'd at least have left a note or two lying around.)

Andersen: (Then again, that was probably too much to hope for, seeing as she didn't even have time to write a script.)

Andersen: (Apparently, she barely had three hours to put something together after Roman asked her to help. Even for a rushed production, that's just absurd.)

Holmes: I thought I might find you here.

Andersen: Sherlock Holmes?

Andersen: You sure work hard for a guy who didn't so much as set foot in the London Singularity.

Holmes: Oh, this is all quite elementary to me, Mr. Andersen.

Holmes: Knowing how much you respect Ms. Murasaki's wishes, it was hardly a leap to imagine you would try to find a clue as to what they might have been.

Andersen: Well, you were right, Mr. Detective. Unfortunately, I've had no luck with that so far.

Andersen: Maybe it doesn't matter anymore, now that the actors have taken things into their own hands...

Andersen: ...but I still wanted to at least find a hint as to the ending she had in mind.

Holmes: I see. In other words, you don't want to see Ms. Murasaki's first movie go down in flames, as it were.

Andersen: Hmph. We're trying to secure more resources for Chaldea here, remember? This isn't all fun and games.

Holmes: Yes, of course. But I suspect you still have a hypothesis you have yet to divulge, Mr. Andersen.

Holmes: Earlier, you suggested this story might well conclude in a train wreck of sorts.

Holmes: That sounds to me as though you already have an idea of where it's going.

Andersen: ...

Holmes: If you don't mind sharing, I would like to ask you for your opinion as a writer...

Holmes: ...regarding what sort of story you think Ms. Murasaki was trying to tell.

Andersen: ...Damn, I guess I did say that, didn't I. What I meant was, with a cast like that, someone's bound to end up dead by the end.

Andersen: Though whether that will be a comical or tragic death is still sort of up in the air.

Andersen: All right, if you want to know what I think, I'll tell you. Just keep in mind that this is strictly my personal opinion.

Andersen: Writers are always juggling about ten or twenty ideas in their minds, even if they don't always get around to writing all or even most of them.

Andersen: Well, ten or twenty might be giving some writers too much credit, but in Murasaki's case, I'm pretty sure she had more than her fair share.

Holmes: Hmm, I see. And you think she used one of these ideas for this movie's script?

Andersen: Given how urgent and unexpected the request was, it would only make sense that she would use an idea she had already been kicking around.

Andersen: But there were also a lot of constraints. A limited pool of actors, her lack of experience with writing screenplays, and very little time to film.

Andersen: I'd guess half of her premise is something she already had floating around her mind, and the other half is stuff she had to come up with to make it work.

Andersen: Though I do get the impression that she used up all her energy on the setting and cast.

Andersen: At any rate, I think she knew how she wanted this story to end, but she hadn't yet figured out how to get there.

Holmes: Hmm. It sounds like you already have a solid grasp on what she had in mind.

Andersen: I have my theories, but they're all just speculation. That's why I was hoping I could at least find some sort of hint.

Holmes: Then I suggest we try a different approach.

Andersen: Oh? Does that mean you have an idea of your own as to where we could find a clue?

Holmes: As a matter of fact, I've been thinking about that portrait.

Andersen: That? I thought it was just a portrait of Moriarty and Murasaki that was altered.

Holmes: Remember how García said he smelled wet paint from it during the last recording?

Holmes: That struck me as a most unusual thing to say, even for an improvised line.

Andersen: Wet paint...

Andersen: That's it! It was Hokusai!

Holmes: Precisely. Ms. Murasaki must have asked Ms. Hokusai to paint that portrait for use as a prop.

Andersen: True, an artist as good as Hokusai would probably be able to throw a painting like that together faster than most people could open an image editor.

Andersen: But I guess there wasn't enough time for the paint to dry before they had to start filming.

Andersen: Wait. You're not suggesting we send Hokusai over there to be this Portrait Painter, are you?

Holmes: No, I merely want to talk to her. Though of course, she may not be in a more conversant state than Ms. Murasaki here, given the hours she keeps.

Andersen: ...I've got a bad feeling about this. All right, let's go to that filthy room she calls an atelier.

Katsushika Hokusai: Man, Toto-sama, I never thought I'd get so much praise just for paintin' a picture of a pretty lady and a handsome guy! This Chaldea place is pretty nice!

Katsushika Hokusai: There's a lot more to oil paintin' than I realized. Maybe I'll try paintin' another one like that while I'm at it.

Katsushika Hokusai: Aw crap, I can't. Just standin' in front of the canvas is makin' me dizzy.

Katsushika Hokusai: Maybe I been workin' myself a little too hard lately.

Katsushika Hokusai: Say, that's the medicine Murasaki left here. I think she said it'd relieve your exhaustion in a jiffy!

Katsushika Hokusai: Sounds like just what the doctor ordered!

Andersen: Hahahaha! We're too late!

Katsushika Hokusai: Huh? What're you two doin' here? Don't tell me you guys want a portrait makin' ya out to be parent and child too?

Andersen: The only sort of picture I'd ever ask you to paint would be a cover illustration for one of my children's stories! Oh, right, we don't have time for this crap right now. Hurry it up, Holmes!

Holmes: I assure you, I have every intention of doing so.

Holmes: If you don't mind, Ms. Hokusai, there's something I wish to ask you about the portrait you painted recently.

Katsushika Hokusai: Oh, that? Came out lookin' awful good, didn't it?

Katsushika Hokusai: Gettin' ta feast my eyes on a handsome guy and beautiful lady like that is one of the very best parts of my work.

Holmes: Oh yes, your skill was never in question. It is clear for all to see that your work is eminently professional.

Holmes: However, I was curious if Ms. Murasaki made any unusual requests of you when she commissioned the piece.

Holmes: For example...were there any parts she asked you to redo?

Katsushika Hokusai: Somethin' she asked me to redo...?

Katsushika Hokusai: Now thatcha mention it, she did say that my first draft made 'em look too much like a couple.

Katsushika Hokusai: So I had to fix that aspect up a lit–(Yaaawn) Oh man, I'm gettin' real sleepy all of a sudden...

Andersen: Hey, don't fall asleep yet! We're still talking to you!

Andersen: ...Dammit, guess that's all we're getting out of her.

Holmes: Well, there is nothing we can do about it now. Besides, we did learn a few interesting tidbits.

Andersen: You're really enjoying this, aren't you, Holmes?

Holmes: Is that how it seems to you?

Holmes: Haha, I suppose this particular case does make for a nice change of pace.

Holmes: After all, once I become involved in a case, it is only a matter of time until it is solved, however inscrutable it may appear at first blush.

Andersen: Hmph. So the fact that you're working on a case that isn't even really a case at this point only makes it that much more interesting for you, huh.

Andersen: I guess even detectives have their specialties. But, whatever. Let's head back to the Command Room, Holmes.

Andersen: I'm worried about how things are going on set. There's no way Fujimaru'll be able to handle everything on [♂ his /♀ her] own.

Andersen: Not with a cast of actors whose heads are so far up their asses they haven't seen daylight in years.

Section 7: The Melancholy Assassin

Elise: What is this place? It smells all mildewy...

Roma: It looks like an archive.

Antonio: This must be part of Cortés's legacy.

Elise: Huh? What do you mean?

Antonio: As much as those pretending to sainthood in the current government might like to think otherwise...

Antonio: ...there were a lot of people looting everything they could get their hands on in the chaos ten years ago.

Elise: And the worst of all was Cortés, right? I mean, he basically looted the whole country.

Antonio: Very true, but while the others were all focused on their immediate gratification...

Antonio: ...Cortés was methodically collecting evidence of their crimes to use in the future.

Antonio: That isn't to say he collected everything, of course...

Antonio: ...but he didn't need to as long as he could make the government officials believe he had all kinds of dirt on those in high society.

Antonio: Isn't that right, Roma?

Roma: I'd rather not get into all the lurid details here, but yes, you're essentially correct.

Roma: I doubt he could have become the first president, or have his new government's cabinet picks be approved as smoothly as they were...

Roma: ...without some rather shady dealings behind the scenes.

Elise: But Cortés trusted you, right? Why didn't you stay in the new government and enjoy all the perks?

Roma: I know all too well how Cortés operated. If I'd stayed, it would only have been a matter of time before I became trapped in his web.

Roma: Besides, he never let his guard down around anyone, so I could never tell what he was really thinking. People like that scare me.

Roma: Saying I resigned paints it in a nice light, but really, all I did was run away from him.

Elise: Maybe there's something in this room that can tell us what's going on here? And when I say us, I mean you, 'cause I'm sure as hell not gonna read all this crap.

Roma: I doubt there's anything valuable in this room, seeing how it wasn't even locked.

Elise: ...Doesn't look like there's any secret doors or anything either. Boooring.

Roma: I believe you said your name was Elise, yes? If you don't mind my asking, do you happen to have an older brother?

Elise: Uh, YEAH I mind! Why the hell would you need to know about my family?

Roma: I'm sorry. Just forget I said anything. It's an old habit of mine, asking young women that question.

Antonio: Elise is an only child, to my understanding. What's more, she's been performing since before her tenth birthday.

Elise: Uncle! You didn't have to tell him that.

Antonio: While we're on the topic, Elise and I are not technically uncle and niece. We are far more distantly related.

Antonio: When I stopped being the court musician ten years ago, I knew I would have to fend for myself from then on.

Antonio: So I sought a singing voice like Elise's, and she in turn sought music like mine.

Antonio: It is that partnership of ours that helped us get to where we are today.

Elise: Why don't you tell him our entire life story while you're at it? You know this guy could very well be our killer. Well, attempted killer.

Roma: In that case, I think it's only right I tell you a little more about myself.

Roma: The truth is, I've been trying to track down the Kingdom of Nadai Nadha's legendary assassin, a man named Daizou Oka.

Antonio: I remember him. He was feared far and wide despite being no more than a lone soldier.

Antonio: I can still feel the chills that ran down my spine whenever I passed him. The sheer bloodlust he radiated was palpable.

Elise: If he's that strong, he's probably doing fine for himself.

Roma: I doubt it. He never struck me as cut out for normal life.

Roma: Besides, I can't imagine a man who can cut down other people for money would have an easy time going back to life in normal society.

Antonio: Unfortunately, I've heard nothing about him these past ten years.

Antonio: And I have no doubt people would be talking about him if he had done anything noteworthy. People love talking about stuff like that; there's no stopping it.

Roma: That's exactly why it's so strange. I can't imagine an assassin of that caliber being taken down easily, especially when he had a younger sister to protect.

Antonio: Then we have another mystery on our hands. Where did the fiercest assassin ever to live disappear to?

Elise: In that line of work, you know he'd be the first person to be cut loose the moment it became inconvenient to keep him around.

Elise: If his bosses decided they didn't want him around anymore, he'd be gone no matter how good he was.

Roma: Hm? Is this...

Elise: Find something?

Roma: This might just be what I've been looking for. I'll study it some more and see what I can find out.

Roma: Come on, let's head back.

Ozymandias: Fujimaru, I have a brilliant idea.

Mash: Really? What is it?

Ozymandias: What if we made Salazar here and this Daizou person one and the same?

Fujimaru 1: But, they don't look anything alike.

Fujimaru 2: Hmm. I guess Daizou's face was covered up, so maybe...

Ozymandias: Hehe! Fortunately, we never saw Daizou's face during the prologue!

Ozymandias: We can make use of that here.

Salazar: Daizou was the assassin who worked for General Tan, right?

Ozymandias: He would never admit defeat, no matter how much things turned against him. What would you do if you were him?

Salazar: Well, I don't think I'm exactly the sort of person who could cut down his foes as easily as breathing, but–

Ozymandias: Wrong!

Ozymandias: You are already Daizou. From now on, you will think as he thinks, and speak as he speaks.

Salazar: Spoken like a true pharaoh!

Salazar: Well, I think he–I, might try to kill as many enemies as possible, even if I knew it was ultimately pointless.

Salazar: But there's only so much any one person can do, so I probably suffered a grave injury...

Salazar: ...and though I managed to survive the attack, I ended up losing my memory. How does that sound?

Ozymandias: Very good. Your memories may be gone, but your body still remembers its deadly fighting techniques.

Ozymandias: Thus, Miguel kept you around to turn you into his personal bodyguard.

Salazar: So I used to be an assassin... Yes, I'm starting to believe it!

Salazar: That's right. I was the Kingdom of Nadai Nadha's greatest assassin!

Salazar: Of course I would try to assassinate anyone who even vaguely seems like an enemy of the royal family!

Salazar: So I poisoned the wine glass because... Um, I guess I just wanted to kill someone?

Fujimaru 1: Is that all you think Assassins care about!?

Salazar: I'm sorry. I'm doing my best to come up with a plausible motive as we speak!

Fujimaru 2: ARE you an Assassin?

Salazar: I'm not sure... I don't think I can use Presence Concealment...

Salazar: At any rate, as an assassin, I am sworn to serve the kingdom to my dying breath.

Salazar: But my efforts backfired, and I almost inadvertently killed my master.

Ozymandias: Perfect!

Salazar: Now I have painful, intermittent flashbacks of my failed assassination attempt.

Salazar: So I impulsively think about performing new assassinations in order to escape that pain.

Arash: Haha, sounds like that oughta work. It feels like everything's starting to come together.

Jeanne Alter: Seems kind of contrived to me, but whatever. I can live with it at this point.

Jeanne Alter: Oh, but if we go this route then you'll be playing a pretty bad guy. Are you okay with that?

Salazar: I think that, even with my memory gone, the battle against the revolutionaries still rages on inside me.

Salazar: So now, whenever something happens to stir up my past impulses, I can't help but want to kill anyone I consider a threat to the kingdom...

Arash: Ooh, that way, we can have Gabriela's poisoning be one of your attempts to kill someone.

Ozymandias: Hmm. I see.

Ozymandias: Then as the last prince of Nadai Nadha, I will take it upon myself to put my poor, faithful retainer to rest.

Ozymandias: After a pulse-pounding fight scene, Vargas will defeat Salazar, and praise him for his faithful service as he passes away in his arms.

Ozymandias: Then, after Gabriela wakes, Vargas will confide his true identity to her and set back off on his trip to help make his former nation a better place...

Ozymandias: It all makes sense. This will work nicely.

Shakespeare: Hmm... Then it would seem we finally have the outline of our plot...

Shakespeare: Very well, let us proceed with this story. Unless there are any other cast members who wish to object?

Mash: It think it sounds very good...

Jeanne Alter: Eh, whatever. Don't love it, but don't have anything better to offer.

Ryouma: I guess that means our scene will be the last one then...

Arash: Hmm. I don't know if I like the idea of me and the pharaoh ganging up on Salazar.

Shakespeare: Ah yes, a good point... Very well then, perhaps you could think of a way around that?

Salazar: What if García stayed behind to protect Gabriela while Vargas and Salazar go to the storehouse to get some medicine?

Salazar: Then he could have a painful assassin flashback that spurs him to attack Vargas while they're alone.

Tristan: I see. That could lead very naturally to their climactic fight scene.

Mash: In that case, we'd probably want something in the storehouse to trigger his memory, to make it more convincing.

Salazar: Heartily agreed. It would only be confusing to the audience if he simply had a flashback out of nowhere.

Ozymandias: If he lost his memory from a wound in battle, perhaps something that symbolizes war would suffice?

Ryouma: ...What about the sound of a cannon?

Ryouma: I mean, at least I know Izo and I would instinctually react to that.

Jeanne Alter: But why would there be a cannon in the storehouse? Why would they even hear a cannon going off in what's basically a big-ass medicine cabinet?

Jeanne Alter: Is Little Miss Holier-Than-Thou around or something? I know she wouldn't think twice about firing a cannon in a storehouse.

Jeanne Alter: ...On second thought, never mind. Having her show up now would only make things even more confusing...

Fujimaru 1: Yeah, she might even steal your heroine spotlight.

Jeanne Alter: Exactly. My heroine spot–

Jeanne Alter: Shut the hell up.

Fujimaru 2: Yeah, Big Sis can be a little...reckless sometimes.

Jeanne Alter: That's putting it mildly. No, we definitely don't want her getting mixed up in this mess.

Tristan: (I'm surprised she sees her rival as her older sister... Has she been brainwashed or something...?)

Mash: Um, what about this?

Mash: One of them could accidentally knock over a bottle while they're looking for the medicine.

Mash: The bottle happens to contain some dangerous chemicals, so when it hits the ground, it explodes.

Mash: The explosion sounds just like a cannon shell, which triggers Salazar's flashback.

Mash: ...I know it's kind of a stretch, but...

Jeanne Alter: Yeah, no way that's gonna–

Salazar: I think it's brilliant, milady with the beautiful bangs!!!

Salazar: It might be a stretch, but it's also innovative and sure to be clear to the audience!!!

Salazar: I would be glad to handle the bottle dropping as well!!! In fact, I wouldn't even mind BEING the bottle!!!

Fujimaru 1: Whoa, uh, take it down a notch, would you?

Salazar: ...Sorry about that. Those eyes I can only catch fleeting glimpses of through her lovely hair are so beautiful that I just...can't help myself.

Mash: (Is it just me, or are my eyes and bangs the only things he seems to care about...?)

Fujimaru 2: Can somebody calm him down, please?

Tristan: Very well then, I will do my best. Annnd strum.

Salazar: Phew... ...Sorry about that. I'm calm now.

Ryouma: He looks like he just came down from a mountain after reaching enlightenment...

Ozymandias: Very well then, we shall require the sound of a cannon blast. Find it!

Dr. Roman: Will do! I'll send you the audio data from the library as soon as I track it down.

Dr. Roman: Would you prefer an Orleans cannon sound effect, or a North American cannon sound effect?

Jeanne Alter: Definitely not an Orleans cannon. That wouldn't do anything good for my mood.

Moriarty: I can play the cannon sound effect once Salazar knocks the bottle over.

Moriarty: Will we need sound effects for machine guns and missiles? No? All right, just thought I'd ask.

Mash: Well, no time like the present. Let's film the scene as soon as everyone's ready!

Arash: Okay! We can start the scene in Gabriela's room.

Jeanne Alter: (What is this feeling...?)

Salieri: (Does this mean I want to be the lead actor?)

Ryouma: (...I get that they want to do this so that everything ties together, but Salazar and Izo are almost nothing alike.)

Tristan: (This isn't good... I need to be a more proactive detective.)

Moriarty: Ready? Annnd action!

García: Oh, I almost forgot!

García: The doctor said I should get some medicine to give Gabriela.

García: Would you mind showing me where the medicine is kept, Salazar?

Salazar: I would be happy to check the storehouse myself.

Vargas: No, we should go together, just to be safe. No one should go anywhere alone.

Salazar: ...I see. All right, if you insist.

Vargas: Don't misunderstand. This isn't because I suspect you. It's simply better for both of us to have a witness present.

Salazar: True, if we go together, and anything happens to one of us, the other will come under suspicion...

Salazar: Besides, if Lady Gabriela's condition should worsen because of my medicine, my position here would become extremely precarious...

Salazar: I apologize for my rudeness. All right, let's be on our way.

García: Be careful out there, you two. There's no telling what you might run into.

Vargas: This place seems much bigger than it needs to be.

Salazar: That's partly because there is also an emergency shelter here. One never knows when one might need it.

Salazar: We're prepared for anything here. We have food and medicine alike in ample supply.

Vargas: I see. So where is this medicine we need?

Salazar: I think it was on this shelf... Oops!

Salazar: Ngh... My head...

Vargas: Salazar? What's wrong?

Salazar: I... I just remembered...

Section 8: At the End of Memory

Ozymandias: This place seems much bigger than it needs to be.

Salazar: That's partly because there is also an emergency shelter here. One never knows when one might need it.

Salazar: We're prepared for anything here. We have food and medicine alike in ample supply.

Ozymandias: I see. So where is this medicine we need?

Salazar: I think it was on this shelf... Oops!

Moriarty: (There goes the bottle...)

Moriarty: (Now!)

Moriarty: (Perfect timing!)

Salazar: Ngh... My head...

Ozymandias: Salazar? What's wrong?

Salazar: I... I just remembered...

Moriarty: That's it, Salazar... Now you go into assassin mode.

Fujimaru 1: Wait. Something's not right.

Ozymandias: Are you all right, Salazar?

Salazar: That... That is not my name!

Ozymandias: Wha... How dare you!

Salazar: Gaaaaaah!

Moriarty: A truly riveting performance, but I do think he's taking it a bit too far. It's as though he truly has lost his mind. Ugh, method actors.

Jeanne Alter: ...Forget his mind. He's lost his freakin' humanity! Can't you tell!?

Jeanne Alter: His Servant Spirit Origin is falling apart like a house of cards.

Jeanne Alter: He's practically a goddamn vengeful spirit now!

Tristan: Oh my, that won't do at all. Then it is time this great detective brought the case to a close!

Ozymandias: No! This is still my scene!

Ozymandias: Leave him to me! All you need concern yourselves with is capturing my glorious combat prowess on film.

Tristan: But, this great detective needs to–

Jeanne Alter: Sorry, birdbrain, you snooze, you lose! I'm gonna see how this ghost likes a punch to the face and getting roasted alive! Er, dead! Whatever!

Tristan: Ahh... How very sad...


Ozymandias: Salazar! Snap out of it already!

C:Salazar: ...My apologies. I don't know what came over me.

Jeanne Alter: What the hell, Salazar!? You turned into a goddamn monster! What gives!?

Moriarty: (Ixnay on the onster-may!)

Ozymandias: So you have finally settled down. Good.

Ozymandias: I am surprised that cannon sound affected you so dramatically. You must have been through something exceptionally traumatic.

C:Salazar: You could say that. It was a cannon blast that killed me.

C:Salazar: At least now, I can finally introduce myself properly. My name is Bartholomew...

C:Salazar: Bartholomew Roberts.

Mash: Oh! The famous pirate!

Mash: I never would have guessed it, since you're so different from the other pirates we know.

Bartholomew: I am delighted to hear a lady with such beautiful hidden eyes say so.

Moriarty: Well drat, we could have figured this out much sooner if we'd only had Blackbeard take a look. Oh well!

Tristan: I recall Sir Blackbeard saying that he doesn't look at other guys' faces closely enough to tell them apart.

Bartholomew: Ugh, so the old bastard's there too, huh.

Bartholomew: I know even as I say it how unlikely it is, but I hope he hasn't been causing you too much trouble.

Bartholomew: On behalf of pirates and dashing men everywhere, I apologize for his...entire existence.

Ozymandias: It would be one thing if times were peaceful, but under the current circumstances... At any rate, there is nothing we can do about it now.

Mash: Um, Bartholomew? It looks like you're...

Bartholomew: Heh... Please don't worry your beautiful head about me, milady.

Bartholomew: This dashing man was fated to disappear along with this Singularity anyway.

Tristan: (Even now, he's trying to sell us on how dashing he is! Maybe that sort of bluster is what I've been lacking?)

Bartholomew: My Spirit Origin has always been like an ember on the verge of flickering out. I just happened to exhaust what little I had left in that battle.

Bartholomew: There's no need for you to concern yourself, Master.

Ozymandias: So, this is where we part ways. It was enjoyable while it lasted, Bartholomew.

Bartholomew: Master... I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for giving me a new role to play when I had nothing to look forward to but disappearing.

Bartholomew: I'm so sorry my leaving you like this will only make things harder for you.

Bartholomew: Forgive me for leaving in the middle of all this.

Fujimaru 1: Bartholomew...

Bartholomew: By the way, about the lovely lady with the beautiful bangs–

Fujimaru 1: You realize there's more to Mash than her bangs, right?

Mash: !

Bartholomew: Heh... I'm sorry for being so crude.

Bartholomew: I wish I could stick around to see this film completed...so if anything, I really regret not being able to do so...

Bartholomew: If I ever see you again, I hope you'll show it to me.

Bartholomew: Well, farewell, everyone! Farewell, beautiful lady with the hidden eyes!

Mash: Salazar–I mean, Bartholomew...

Mash: What is your obsession with my eyes being hidden, anyway?

Fujimaru 1: That's your first question!?

Jeanne Alter: Don't worry about it, Mash. You're better off not knowing.

Fujimaru 2: Honestly, I'm not sure either...

Jeanne Alter: Yeah, beats me. Maybe that's just his fetish? People are into different stuff, I guess.

Mash: I, uh, I see...

Jeanne Alter: I wouldn't worry about it if I were you, Mash, but you should really brush up on this shit, Fujimaru.

Jeanne Alter: Especially before Mr. God's-Gift-to-Women shows up for real.

Jeanne Alter: Now that you've formed a connection with him, he's bound to come back sooner or later.

Jeanne Alter: Anyway, now what do we do?

Ozymandias: Hmm. Good question...

Ozymandias: I am not sure there is anything we can do now that he has disappeared.

Moriarty: Hmm. This is indeed quite a pickle.

Mash: I'm sure we managed to record Salazar losing his mind and attacking Vargas.

Mash: If we edit it well enough...

Moriarty: Unfortunately, I'm not sure that will be sufficient.

Moriarty: There's no way to film the story we originally envisioned without a scene where Salazar reveals his true identity and motive.

Moriarty: At best, it would just be a muddled mess for our audience.

Tristan: What should we do about the last half of the scene, where he turns into a vengeful spirit?

Jeanne Alter: Something, something...symbolism, I guess.

Ozymandias: ...Very well then, we shall just have to come up with a different climax.

Moriarty: If only it were that easy!

Moriarty: We already filmed the scene with Salazar and Vargas going to look for medicine in the storehouse.

Moriarty: With two people going in, and only one coming out, it would only stand to reason that Vargas killed Salazar.

Ozymandias: What was that? Well, technically, I suppose Vargas did kill him...

Moriarty: We could always just leave that scene out, of course...but that presents us with other problems.

Mash: Right. It would be very strange for Salazar to suddenly turn up dead or just disappear from the film.

Moriarty: However, we do have a scene where Salazar and Vargas hit each other at the same time.

Moriarty: If we made it so that Salazar inflicts a fatal wound on Vargas, and Vargas summons up the last of his strength to take Salazar down with him, resulting in both of their deaths...

Moriarty: ...I think that may give us the most options for continuing the story naturally. How does that sound?

Ozymandias: ...Interesting. So my choices are to become the villain, or to exit the movie for good!

Tristan: Hmm. This IS a pickle.

Tristan: Well, logically, both Vargas and Salazar would have to die here...

Moriarty: Unfortunately, there's no time for any reshoots. We'll simply have to use the footage we already have.

Mash: Right. Murasaki doesn't seem likely to wake up anytime soon, and our top priority is to finish the movie, so...

Ozymandias: Hmm. I never even considered that my role might end like this.

Ozymandias: But, very well. As Mash said, finishing the movie comes first, so I will accept Vargas's death.

Moriarty: Besides, Isidoro and Adriana haven't been getting enough screen time anyway.

Moriarty: Examining the crime scene should be a perfect opportunity for them.

Moriarty: We should be able to fake Salazar's corpse with a mannequin and a leftover outfit from the dressing room.

Moriarty: Oh, as for Vargas, you can simply lay on the floor and pretend to be dead, Pharaoh.

Ozymandias: To think my final scene would involve my playing a dead body... Hehe, hehahahahaha! Amusing! This is most amusing!

Ozymandias: It seems nothing ever quite goes as planned in the making of a movie!

Mash: What should they say when they're examining the bodies? I'm not coming up with anything...

Moriarty: You and Tristan there should figure something out while we get ready to shoot.

Moriarty: We can save the reason that Salazar turned on Vargas for the conclusion.

Moriarty: At worst, we can always chalk it up to somehow being the true culprit's doing.

Fujimaru 1: Easy for you to say! Your character's dead!

Moriarty: Hehehe.

Moriarty: As long as it doesn't turn out Miguel was actually alive the whole time, I can get away with saying whatever I want!

Jeanne Alter: You probably should've kept your mouth shut on that one. You just shot yourself in the foot.

Jeanne Alter: Now things could work out so that you end up getting blamed for all the crimes.

Moriarty: ...Ahem.

Moriarty: At any rate, we need to get back to filming! Come now, everyone, let's all do our best to finish strong!

Elise: What was that? Whatever it was, it was really loud.

Antonio: Thank goodness you're all right, Elise.

Adriana: Everyone, come quick! We found Vargas and Salazar in the storehouse...dead...

García: Vargas is dead!? No way...

Roma: We should go see for ourselves. You can grieve for your friend afterward.

García: Vargas... This can't be happening...!

Roma: They're both dead. It looks like they killed each other.

Elise: Which one of them attacked first?

García: Vargas would never ambush anyone!

Roma: It looks like you're right. Vargas bled out from a wound on his back. Salazar must have attacked him from behind.

Antonio: He probably meant to kill Vargas with one strike and hide the body somewhere.

Antonio: But he obviously failed, leaving Vargas with just enough strength to strike back...

García: Nobody could have taken Vargas down in a fair fight, not even if it was three against one.

García: He must have known he wasn't going to make it, so he made sure to take Salazar down with him.

Adriana: It looks like they knocked over a bottle of volatile chemicals during their fight. That was almost certainly the cause of the explosion we heard.

Elise: Salazar must've already known he couldn't talk his way out of it...

Elise: We could've interrogated them and gotten to the bottom of this a lot faster if just one of them had survived.

Isidoro: ...

Elise: What's wrong, detective? You haven't said a word.

Adriana: M-Mr. Poggioli is also known as “Isidoro the Sleeper,” because he always gets very quiet whenever he's considering evidence.

Isidoro: ...It's true. Even as we speak, my mind is evaluating all the possibilities at a dizzying pace.

Elise: Didn't you say you were known as “Isidoro the Reaper” before?

Isidoro: ...Hypnos and Thanatos are said to be brothers. Thus, my Sleeper and Reaper personas are two sides of the same coin.

Elise: Ugh, whatever. Just stop bragging and tell us what you figured out already.

Isidoro: I can't. Not when the culprit is listening.

Roma: Oh? Then you're saying one of us is the culprit?

Isidoro: I will leave that to your imagination. For now, all I can say is this:

Isidoro: There is no case so inscrutable that I, Isidoro Poggioli, cannot solve it. You may sit back and rest assured that I have matters well in hand.

Shakespeare: They do say every good story needs surprises...but usually a story is more than just a series of plot twists and shocks.

Shakespeare: Ahh, if only Sir Bartholomew hadn't disappeared!

Andersen: Good grief. It looks like we might just have to come up with an ending for this story after all.

Shakespeare: Then we'd better stock up on pens and paper while we have the chance.

Shakespeare: Quite honestly, I'd much prefer that the cast arrive at a natural conclusion themselves.

Andersen: Hey, Holmes. There's something that's been nagging at me for a while now.

Holmes: And what might that be?

Andersen: Instead of going to Hokusai about the painting...wouldn't it have been better to start by asking Moriarty?

Holmes: I beg your pardon?

Andersen: Like you said yourself, Murasaki's condition was an unfortunate accident.

Andersen: So since Moriarty didn't do anything wrong this time, you could just as easily have asked him, since he had to have been there too.

Andersen: I know you two are mortal enemies and everything, but in this specific instance, I don't think he has anything to hide.

Holmes: Were that the case, he should have brought up the portrait before we thought to investigate it.

Andersen: True, if he wanted filming to go smoothly, he should have mentioned the portrait being redone the first chance he got.

Holmes: I don't care for the way he holds onto information while snidely waiting to see what the rest of us do without it.

Holmes: Even if I called him out on it, he'd just claim it slipped his mind, and that would be that.

Andersen: I get how you feel, Holmes, but that still doesn't explain why you didn't ask him.

Holmes: Fair enough. I don't know if this will convince you, but here it is.

Holmes: I am a detective, so I believe I have an obligation to solve any mystery I come across.

Andersen: Don't know where that came from, but okay. I doubt there's any mystery you couldn't solve, but never mind that.

Holmes: However, there's a phase that takes place while learning about the mystery I'm about to solve.

Holmes: A phase where I examine all facts closely, free of preconceptions, and try to notice anything that seems out of place.

Holmes: In meticulously questioning everything, the relevant facts come to light, and the mystery reveals itself.

Andersen: Hmm. So you're saying your approach revolves around careful examination and questioning what you observe.

Holmes: Right. But on the flip side, it also means that one cannot engage with a case without such examination and attendant suspicion.

Holmes: And when it comes to preventing a detective from seeing matters clearly, and therefore suspecting them, there is no criminal more devious than James Moriarty.

Andersen: Wait, really? How does that work when him just being around makes anyone naturally suspicious?

Holmes: There is such a thing as being too suspicious, you see. It makes it difficult to determine how much one should suspect other things...

Holmes: ...ultimately making it impossible to focus on the proper issues in a case.

Holmes: I'm certain the whole reason he was able to rule the underworld for so long is because he made sure to never be anywhere that would arouse suspicion.

Holmes: In nineteenth-century London, he would dispense his criminal schemes to others while erasing all trace of his presence from their surroundings.

Holmes: He ruled his network like a spider waiting in the middle of its web, all while remaining completely out of sight.

Holmes: If nothing else, it was an impressive feat. It even took me some time to be certain my suspicions were correct.

Holmes: ...Not to mention a painful sacrifice.

Andersen: His presence was really that invisible, huh?

Holmes: ...It would be easy to interrogate him now, but in doing so, I would also be showing my hand as to my own method of thinking and questioning.

Holmes: Given that there's no telling when he and I might be on opposing sides again, I'd prefer to give him as few opportunities as possible to learn how I think.

Holmes: So if I'm going to investigate a case he's involved in, my only choice is to discover the core mystery while remaining as hands-off as I can.

Andersen: (So he doesn't want Moriarty to learn how he thinks, huh. Or maybe not just Moriarty...)

Andersen: Ah, never mind. Basically, you're saying it is your examination and suspicion that lets you see a mystery before you, and if you have neither, there is no mystery, hm?

Andersen: So we have arguably the world's greatest detective, and the Napoleon of crime... Talk about a complicated relationship.

Holmes: Oh, if it isn't Mr. Tristan. How can we help you?

Tristan: I was hoping you could tell me something, Sir Holmes.

Tristan: How exactly does a detective, um, detect?

Tristan: I'm afraid I have arrived at the realization that I have no idea how to be a great detective only after I went and declared that my character was one.

Tristan: Now I don't know what to do...

Holmes: Hmm, I see. Well, you've asked a very fundamental question.

Tristan: I only accepted this role because I thought following Murasaki Shikibu's script would make me look good.

Tristan: But now, I'm at a complete loss for words. All I can do is stand around like a scarecrow.

Tristan: No, it's even worse than that. At least scarecrows have some use, even if it's only keeping crows at bay. Ahh, I am so sad right now.

Andersen: A scarecrow, huh. I'll have to remember that one.

Tristan: This is hardly funny.

Tristan: The way this film is going, my scarecrow impersonation may well be preserved for posterity...forever.

Tristan: I don't even want to think about how Sir Bedivere would pity me if he saw me like that...

Holmes: I see... Very well, Mr. Tristan, I understand your concerns.

Holmes: But, to be quite honest, my particular brand of deduction is rather...beyond your abilities.

Tristan: That's not just honest, it's brutal...!

Holmes: Now, now, don't misunderstand. I'm still prepared to give you advice.

Holmes: All I mean is that my deductions are ill-suited to puzzles whose solutions are known. I'm not so keen at filling in the bits in the middle. It's a matter of aptitude.

Tristan: I see...

Andersen: Never mind him. That's just his poor attempt at humor.

Holmes: I assure you, I'm quite serious...

Holmes: Now then, Mr. Tristan, what sort of deductions would you like to make?

Tristan: I'd like them to make everyone go, “Of course! Now it all makes sense!” in admiration...

Tristan: ...and have them cement me as Sir Tristan, the smartest and most handsome knight of the Round Table.

Tristan: Nothing too spectacular.

Shakespeare: That sounds like quite the tall order. For one thing, the Round Table is home to a great many handsome knights.

Tristan: We knights always strive to be the best in everything we do. Having minds as sharp as the teeth of Caerbannog is but one of many examples.

Tristan: But unfortunately, as I said, I don't know the first thing about playing a detective, so...I am at a loss.

Holmes: Try turning your assumptions on their ear, Mr. Tristan. Decide what your goal is first, then find a path towards it.

Tristan: What do you mean by that?

Andersen: He means a plot with a foregone conclusion. Once you know how it ends, all you have to do is come up with a story that fits it.

Holmes: Precisely.

Holmes: First, decide on a truth you would like to see. The more interesting the better, in this case.

Holmes: Next, find all the clues that support that truth, and then simply set aside any that do not.

Holmes: This should lead you to a truth sufficiently compelling for your audience to ignore any loose threads you may have.

Holmes: Of course, it would be a severe problem if the police or district attorney handled investigations this way, but since this is for a movie where there is nothing but entertainment at stake, it should be fine.

Tristan: I see... Thank you, Holmes. This has been a revelation.

Tristan: I now know exactly what I have to do:

Tristan: Come up with a shocking and compelling truth. The explanation will simply follow that!

Andersen: (I'm not convinced... I get the feeling he could still inadvertently turn this thriller into a comedy...)

Andersen: Well, if you don't mind me just rattling things off the top of my head, I could share some ideas with you.

Tristan: I appreciate the offer, but as a matter of fact, I just came up with a brilliant idea myself.

Andersen: ...Is that so. I have my doubts, but all right. It's a dick move to give unsolicited criticism on someone's story. I look forward to seeing what you've come up with.

Tristan: Not to worry. I promise I will live up to–nay, exceed your expectations. Now then, if you'll excuse me!

Holmes: ...However this turns out, there is only so much we can do until Ms. Murasaki wakes up.

Holmes: From here on, we may as well just sit back and enjoy the show.

Andersen: You're not wrong, but that's a hell of a way to put it!

Holmes: Hahaha. Well, however this turns out, it should be entertaining at the very least.

Andersen: It's a dick move to give unsolicited criticism on someone's story. I look forward to seeing what you've come up with.

Tristan: Not to worry. I promise I will live up to–nay, exceed your expectations. Now then, if you'll excuse me!

Tristan: (I'd better tell Master right away.)

Arash: Hmm. You guys all hear that?

Salieri: I'm not usually in the habit of eavesdropping...but I simply couldn't help but overhear in this case.

Jeanne Alter: Hey, it's not our fault he didn't even notice we were here.

Jeanne Alter: Anyway, this explains why he's been so quiet during filming so far.

Ryouma: Haha, I guess in one sense, he was feeling more pressure than any of us.

Arash: Anyway, I guess we can just wait for Tristan to present his idea for the conclusion to Master.

Arash: (Hmm... In that case, maybe I'll have a little fun myself.)

Ryouma: (I'm glad I happened to overhear that. I might just be able to tie everything together after all.)

Salieri: (I still need to live up to Queen Marie's expectations, so what would I... No, what would Antonio do...)

Jeanne Alter: (Maybe... Just maybe...)

Tristan: Master, I need to talk to you.

Fujimaru 1: What's up?

Tristan: I believe I have found a way to bring this movie to a satisfying conclusion.

Tristan: Just give me...let's say thirty minutes to collect my thoughts.

Tristan: On second thought, make that an hour, just to be safe.

Mash: Is this true?

Tristan: You've been stealing my thunder thus far, so I plan to make sure I at least go out with a bang.

Mash: That sounds great. I can't wait to see it. Okay, I'll go let everyone else know.

Tristan: (All right, time to come up with something that will blow everyone away.)

Tristan: (Hehehe... Remember this day, my fellow Knights of the Round Table. Today is the day Sir Tristan, knightly detective, bursts onto the scene.)

Tristan: (All I have to do now is decide on the culprit before the hour is up...)

Tristan: (I'm counting on you, future me...!)

Mash: I haven't seen Tristan that excited in a while. I guess this means we'll be done filming soon?

Dr. Roman: Looks that way. After editing the footage we've got so far, I'd say we've got about an hour's worth of movie in the can.

Dr. Roman: So we need to find a way to end the story in about thirty minutes, no matter how many possibilities we leave on the cutting room floor.

Dr. Roman: At least Sir Tristan looks like he has a good idea up his sleeve. He's a poet at heart, right?

Dr. Roman: So I think he'll come up with something that appeals to a wide audience.

Fujimaru 1: You're really enjoying this, aren't you, Doctor?

Dr. Roman: Well of course! I've been monitoring the whole thing on my end, too!

Dr. Roman: I don't think I'm enjoying it quite as much as you, since you're the one actually filming everything...

Dr. Roman: ...but I've still been having a blast watching the whole production from start to finish!

Dr. Roman: It is a shame that I haven't been able to see you in action, since all the footage is from your perspective...

Dr. Roman: ...but I figure Mash can fill me in on that side of things once you all get back.

Dr. Roman: Still...the way things are going now, it might not all be smooth sailing.

Mash: What do you mean? Do you think the characters are still in danger?

Dr. Roman: Only if Sir Tristan's idea turns out to be something violent. No, I have a different concern.

Dr. Roman: I suspect the rest of the cast might be thinking along the same lines as him.

Dr. Roman: From everything I've seen so far, they've all gotten really into their roles...

Dr. Roman: ...so it's only natural that they'd all want their character to be the star of the show and come out on top.

Dr. Roman: I expect that's true for you too, Mash. Am I wrong?

Dr. Roman: Are you secretly hoping that Fujimaru gets to enjoy the spotlight too?

Mash: Well, uh... Yes, I would like to record Senpai's valiant figure on film for posterity...

Dr. Roman: Right? So the real work of resolving this Singularity is just beginning.

Dr. Roman: Fujimaru, I'm guessing it won't be long now before you have each actor speaking up with their own idea about how the film should end.

Dr. Roman: I'm sure they'll all be interesting in some way. Jeanne might even try bullying you into going with her ending.

Dr. Roman: But no matter how good they are, we can't use all of them. A movie can only have one ending, after all.

Dr. Roman: So as their Master, you're the one who's going to have to choose.

Dr. Roman: There's no right or wrong answer for this movie, and I'm sure each actor's idea for the ending will have some core truth to it.

Dr. Roman: So I'd like you to think about what sort of movie you want to film before you make your decision.

Dr. Roman: That will be the answer to this Singularity...and I think satisfying the late director's spirit will also help us get a better reward.

Section 9: Arash's Script Pitch

Arash: Hey, Master!

Arash: Can I talk to you for a minute? I've got an idea I wanted to share with you.

Fujimaru 1: Where's this coming from?

Arash: Well, I was just kind of minding my business when an idea struck me.

Arash: I know that we can't use the pharaoh's original idea now that Vargas is dead...

Arash: ...but if we just tweak it a little, I think we could still bring it back to life.

Arash: You know, like a phoenix!

Ozymandias: !

Ozymandias: You dare take pity on me? If so, I will burn you to ashes on the spot...

Ozymandias: ...but I can see that I need not worry. Very well, say your piece!

Mash: H-how do you want to bring Vargas back to life? He was pretty definitively dead in that last scene...

Ryouma: Especially since I was the one who pronounced him dead. Oh, I get it. You're saying we make Roma a liar?

Arash: No, no, nothing like that. I'm not talking about Vargas himself coming back to life.

Arash: And Roma wouldn't have any reason to lie. At least, I don't think he would.

Arash: Normally, one look with my Clairvoyance would reveal how things play out, but since this is an odd Singularity, the usual rules don't apply.

Ozymandias: So? What is this idea of yours?

Arash: It's simple.

Arash: Suffice it to say, I want to honor both your and Murasaki's wishes for the character.

Arash: It's nothing exceptional, but I think a lot of people would be willing to accept it.

Arash: In one sense, unveiling it here for the first time works out perfectly.

Ozymandias: How much longer do you intend to keep me waiting? Hurry and get to the point!

Arash: Haha, sorry about that. Okay then, here's my idea, for what it's worth.

Arash: ...First off, let me ask you something.

Arash: Do you remember what Murasaki told you back when she explained our characters to us?

Ozymandias: Of course. That time, that beautiful woman told me...

Ozymandias: Now I understand! What an amusing idea you have come up with, Archer!

Mash: Um, Pharaoh Ozymandias? Can I ask what's going on?

Ozymandias: ...Heh. It would be uncouth for me to reveal it. Yes, I see.

Ozymandias: Hahahaha! Haha, hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Jeanne Alter: If there was a joke in there, I sure as hell missed it.

Jeanne Alter: I remember what Murasaki told us about our characters too. She said you two were the prince of the old Nadai Nadha kingdom, and his attendant...

Jeanne Alter: Ohhh, now I get it. So that's your game.

Arash: Ah, already figured it out, huh? Yup, you got it. Sorry I couldn't come up with anything better!

Mash: Um, I'm sorry, Arash, but I still don't understand. Could you tell me what it is you're talking about?

Arash: You're really kind, aren't you, missy. Okay, let me try this again.

Arash: Murasaki told us that we were the prince and his attendant.

Arash: So far, I've been playing the attendant, and the pharaoh has been playing the prince, as you'd expect.

Mash: Right... Oh! You mean...!?

Arash: Haha, I sure do! Now that Vargas is dead, I thought, what if we turned that around!

Arash: I could be the prince, and the pharaoh could be my attendant! It'd be a huge twist!

Tristan: Ten years ago, after barely escaping the attack on the palace, the prince and his attendant worked hand in hand to survive, eventually growing up to be a pair of fine young men.

Tristan: Though they didn't think the prince was a wanted man, they could never be completely sure.

Tristan: So they pretended their relationship was the inverse of its true nature, to better hide the prince's identity.

Arash: Pretty much.

Jeanne Alter: All right, for the moment, let's say we go with this. How do you explain what happened with Gabriela and Salazar then?

Jeanne Alter: Not to mention we still have to fit The Portrait Painter into all this...

Tristan: Oh, that was me just kind of babbling. We can cut it out.

Arash: No, don't worry. I've got something in mind for that, too.

Arash: We could make it so that Salazar always wanted to kill Vargas, and that was why he poisoned the glass.

Arash: But the result was that Gabriela ended up being the one who took the poisoned glass.

Arash: When his attempt failed, Salazar tried to take a more direct approach to killing Vargas once they were alone, only to die in the process.

Salieri: But why would Salazar do such a thing? I can't see what his motive could be...

Arash: That's easy. Because he was ordered to.

Ryouma: Hmm. But Salazar worked for Gabriela, didn't he?

Ryouma: Not only did he fail to kill his target, he ended up almost killing his master.

Ryouma: And on top of all that, he got himself killed when he tried again. Pretty poor excuse for an assassin, don't you think?

Jeanne Alter: Well, given how he bought it when he did, I don't see how we can get around that...

Arash: Hey now, I'm not so cruel as to make Gabriela out to be the bad guy here. That'd be someone else.

Arash: Someone you'd never expect.

Tristan: ...Are you talking about me?

Mash: Huh?

Tristan: True, I suppose having the detective be the culprit would be quite the surprise...

Tristan: Oh no. I'm still not ready to play a cool and collected villain!

Arash: Hahaha, that sounds like a great idea too! But no, that's not what I had in mind.

Tristan: (I'm so embarrassed...)

Arash: I noticed this when I was watching the footage.

Arash: After we recorded the first scene, Murasaki only told two of the actors that their roles were over:

Arash: Old man Tajima, and Izo.

Arash: But she never said that to Moriarty.

Mash: Oh! Now I get it!

Arash: Since Moriarty's part in the movie wasn't over, Murasaki must've been planning to have his character come back, right?

Ryouma: So you're saying Miguel was alive all along?

Jeanne Alter: Then what gives with the funeral?

Salieri: No, wait. It was Salazar who ran the funeral.

Salieri: And as Miguel's loyal servant, he would surely have no issue aiding his master fake his death.

Arash: Sure, I have no idea why Murasaki might've wanted Moriarty's character to stick around.

Arash: I'm just choosing to believe she did so because it makes my idea work even better.

Moriarty: Perhaps she merely wanted to keep me around as a production assistant.

Mash: She might have also planned on filming flashback scenes... Either way, I think it's a great idea!

Tristan: That would mean The Portrait Painter...is Miguel.

Moriarty: Haha, looks like you got me!

Fujimaru 1: You seem pleased.

Moriarty: Of course! It's been too long since I got to play the mastermind! ...Well, maybe not all that long...

Ozymandias: Even after he retired, he would still be the new nation's founding hero, so he would have retained his vast influence.

Ozymandias: But that does not mean the Republic of Nadai Nadha's political situation was stable.

Ozymandias: There were surely some factions who saw Miguel not as a hero, but as an obstacle.

Ryouma: I see. So the threat of assassination must've always been looming over his head.

Ozymandias: Thus, he planned to fake his death to remove himself from the spotlight while continuing to rule behind the scenes through Gabriela.

Ozymandias: But then, the lost prince and his attendant suddenly showed up at the Meihousou, endangering everything he had planned.

Ozymandias: Miguel did not know if they were here by coincidence or to seek revenge.

Ozymandias: Either way, he decided to take care of them before they could discover anything that might truly jeopardize his plans.

Arash: And that's why Miguel ordered Salazar to kill Vargas, who he thought was the prince.

Arash: The last part of my idea involves García confronting Miguel directly in his hidden chamber, inside the Meihousou...

Arash: Anyway, that's basically what I've got. What do you think?

Arash: I guess you could say it's my amateurish attempt at solving this mystery.

Arash: You're welcome to use it as it is, punch it up, or just toss the idea out whole cloth.

Arash: Although, if you do decide to go with it...

Arash: ...I'll let you film a side of me I don't usually show anyone!

Section 10: Sakamoto Ryouma's Script Pitch

Ryouma: Now that Arash has shared his idea, would you mind if I went next?

Tristan: By all means, go right ahead.

Tristan: (I'll be the one who decides the real ending no matter who else goes before me.)

Ryouma: Thanks. Okay, here's what I've got.

Ryouma: I've been thinking about why Roma Kureishi came here, and what he hoped to accomplish.

Ryouma: Roma used to serve the nation's military, and reported directly to Miguel himself. He surely had plenty of official avenues for success if he had chosen to pursue them.

Ryouma: But instead, he chose to leave and practice medicine in a small town, even though the work of creating a new country had to have been much more interesting.

Arash: Good point... It sounds like he must've been sick and tired of war by then.

Ryouma: Exactly.

Arash: So that probably means Roma wouldn't ever want to see Miguel again if he could help it...

Arash: ...'cause that would only bring back painful memories for him.

Ryouma: That's my guess too. But despite all that, he still chose to attend Miguel's funeral.

Ryouma: He must've had some reason for that...and I don't think it had anything to do with money.

Salieri: Given how close he was to Miguel, Roma would know more about Cortés's legacy than anyone other than Miguel himself.

Ryouma: Right. And there's more to the legacy than just treasure. It's also packed with all kinds of sensitive documents.

Ryouma: I think Roma wanted to find it because he believed it contained the truth about his friend's disappearance.

Ryouma: If it turned out his friend was actually living a happy life somewhere else, great.

Ryouma: And in the more likely event that he wasn't...at least he would have some closure.

Ryouma: He couldn't turn to the police, since the unstable government still had its hands full maintaining order and developing the new nation.

Ryouma: So he decided to slip Gabriela a drug...

Ryouma: ...and take advantage of the ensuing investigation to explore the Meihousou and look for Cortés's legacy.

Tristan: So then, how did he get the drug into her drink?

Ryouma: Good question. Of course it would be impossible to make sure she chose just the right glass.

Ryouma: Especially since, as the host, she would inevitably end up with the last one.

Ryouma: So here's what I'm thinking: Gabriela was already at peak exhaustion thanks to being far outside her comfort zone for so long.

Ryouma: Her glass wasn't actually poisoned. The wine she drank was just the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.

Ryouma: Roma figured this out after a quick examination, and thought up a way to take advantage of her unconsciousness.

Ryouma: He pretended to give her an antidote, while actually giving her a powerful sedative.

Ryouma: As a doctor, that's something only I could have pulled off, don't you think?

Ryouma: However, Roma didn't account for Salazar going berserk.

Mash: Huh? Does that mean you're not going to have Salazar and Daizou secretly be the same person?

Ryouma: ...Definitely not. Izo lived and died by the sword. It was everything to him.

Ryouma: There's no way he wouldn't keep up his training, even if he lost all of his memories.

Mash: (I don't have the heart to remind Ryouma that Izo and Daizou aren't actually the same person...)

Ryouma: Like Arash said in his own idea, I think we can safely assume that Izo's role in this movie is over.

Oryou: You're just embarrassed to perform with Izo face-to-face, aren't you, Ryouma?

Ryouma: It's not that, Oryou. And please don't just pop out of nowhere like that! You scared me!

Ryouma: Besides, Izo's not the kind of person who could do something like that.

Ryouma: At worst, he could flip out and ruin the whole production. That's just one reason not to bring him back.

Ryouma: But, I still have to justify his presence in the story.

Ryouma: When Murasaki first explained my character to me, she said that Roma Kureishi was a sansei, a third-generation Japanese immigrant.

Ryouma: And I'm not alone. This country is home to a relatively large number of people with similar backgrounds.

Ryouma: Izo's character's full name is Daizou Oka. Needless to say, it's also a Japanese name.

Ryouma: Munenori's character was named Ryu Tan. His last name might be Chinese, or it might have originally been the Japanese name “Tani” changed during immigration.

Ryouma: These names might be simple, but they still follow definite rules.

Ryouma: Even my character's family name, Kureishi, has precedent in real life.

Fujimaru 1: I think it means “nightfall stone” or something...?

Ryouma: Pretty much, yes.

Ryouma: Anyway, given that our characters were all named to match our ethnicity, why didn't Murasaki do the same for hers?

Jeanne Alter: Oh yeah, I was wondering why she named her character “Gabriela” too.

Ryouma: So my theory is that Gabriela is actually Daizou's younger sister, and Miguel changed her name when he took her in.

Ryouma: Though I admit that might be a bit of a stretch.

Jeanne Alter: Eh, the audience would just have to use their imagination to fill in the gaps, I guess.

Ryouma: Okay, here's the thrust of it. We know from the earlier scenes that Roma got his hands on some top-secret documents.

Ryouma: I didn't give them much thought during that scene, but I think I've got a good idea for them now.

Moriarty: Oh? It looks like someone's getting quite accustomed to improvisation.

Ryouma: What if they were a report detailing how Daizou died?

Salieri: It's not as though you actually read what they say. How would you handle that aspect?

Ryouma: Well, I do have one possible scenario in mind...

Ryouma: I think Daizou's the kind of guy who would go down swinging, making sure to take as many enemies with him as he could.

Ryouma: But if he'd died in a blaze of glory like that, Roma would have long since heard about it, right?

Arash: And if he'd already heard about it, he wouldn't have come all this way looking for answers.

Ryouma: So if he died quietly, that would inevitably mean an incredibly skilled swordsman must have killed him in secret.

Ryouma: ...And I can only think of one character who fits that bill.

Jeanne Alter: ...Oh! You mean General Tan?

Ryouma: From Miguel's perspective, both Tan and Daizou were forces to be reckoned with who could turn on him at any time.

Ryouma: So naturally, he'd want them to take each other out.

Mash: That seems like it would be much easier said than done.

Ryouma: True, General Tan didn't seem like anyone's fool, and I doubt he would fight without good cause.

Moriarty: Yes, well, considering who was playing him, I'm not surprised you came away with that impression...

Ryouma: So if one of them were going to challenge the other, it would be Daizou. And he seems like he'd be a lot easier to manipulate, don't you think?

Ryouma: If we'd filmed it, I imagine that scene could go something like:

Ryouma: “Kill General Tan, and I swear on my life that I will see your sister cared for and protected.”

Ryouma: Then they fight, and end up killing each other.

Mash: I see... That does seem like it would tie up all the loose ends.

Jeanne Alter: Not to mention it sounds exactly like something Mor–Miguel would do.

Moriarty: Good heavens! Could you all be just a touch kinder to me? Gentlemen at my age have surprisingly thin skin.

Ryouma: True to his word, Miguel took in Daizou's sister and raised her to be a proper lady.

Ryouma: But then he broke his word and married her. If Daizou had known this would happen, he'd probably have gone absolutely nuts and cut Miguel down on the spot.

Moriarty: Eep!

Tristan: So what happens now that Roma knows the truth? Is that the end of the story?

Ryouma: Nope, that's just the halfway point. Does Roma seem like the kind of person who would just pack his bags and leave after finding out what really happened?

Ryouma: No, the real question is what he does after he learns the truth.

Ryouma: Now then. Fujimaru.

Ryouma: I see this much the same way Arash did.

Ryouma: In other words, I think Miguel is alive and biding his time somewhere inside this mansion.

C:Ryouma: But now, he's panicking after losing his pawn, Salazar, in an unforeseen accident.

C:Ryouma: So Roma asks García for help. He suspects that García knows his way around the Meihousou well...

C:Ryouma: ...and above all, he knows García's desire to avenge Vargas is genuine.

C:Ryouma: Working together, they manage to find Miguel's hideout...

Ryouma: ...but when they confront him, he only has one thing to say.

Mash: S-so what happens next?

Ryouma: What happens next? Isn't it obvious?

Ryouma: Anyway, I don't know if we're going to go with this idea or not. It's honestly embarrassing to lay it all out like this.

Ryouma: ...But if we do go with it, I plan on taking it real seriously.

Ryouma: Anyway, I hope you'll at least mull it over.

Section 11: Salieri's Script Pitch

Salieri: Now that this has escalated into a detective competition...or rather, a contest to see who can come up with a more solid structure for this story...

Salieri: ...I would like to throw my hat into the ring. In fact, I feel I must...

Mash: You too, Salieri?

Salieri: Hm?

Mash: I mean, your character has just seemed to draw much less attention compared to everyone else, so...

Salieri: Of course I have questions, though not about the film. What is it I'm doing here?

Salieri: ...No, never mind that. I already decided I would try to live up to the queen's hopes for me.

Mash: ...?

Salieri: ...I have been thinking about this man I have been inhabiting, Antonio.

Salieri: I wasn't able to learn much about him from Murasaki Shikibu, so I still don't know who he is.

Salieri: All I know is, he shares my name and also used to be a court musician... Ha! How bitterly ironic!

Salieri: ... ...

Salieri: Still, if I assume there is a slight chance that Antonio was a flesh and blood person who truly existed, then I can imagine what he must be thinking.

Salieri: It took me some time, but eventually, I did arrive at the core of who Antonio is.

Ryouma: Yeah, it was tough getting into our characters, wasn't it?

Ryouma: I'm just glad Murasaki helped me out by making Roma similar to me.

Salieri: Indeed, she did the same for me and Antonio.

Salieri: It was a conscious choice on her part. Once I realized that, the rest was relatively easy.

Salieri: Though, at the same time...I also noticed there was a contradiction in his story.

Tristan: A contradiction, hmm?

Tristan: Given how much has been improvised, I'm not sure there's much point in worrying about a contradiction or two.

Salieri: No, this one goes back to the very beginning...

Salieri: ...when Murasaki Shikibu was still involved with the production.

Salieri: I suspected she planted that detail intentionally, and thought long and hard about what it could mean!

Moriarty: Hmm, I don't remember anything strange. All I remember is that the footage came out well...

Salieri: This was from the very beginning! Go on, think back!

Salieri: Surely you remember this exchange between Antonio and Roma!

G:Roma: Oh, that's all right. At any rate, I'm surprised you made it through the massacre. I remember they slaughtered everyone in the palace that day, even the noncombatants.

F:Antonio: That's, um...

Jeanne Alter: Oh, yeah, I remember that now. But what's so weird about that line?

Salieri: Everything!

Salieri: Take Vargas and García! How do you think they survived the massacre when their castle fell!?

Jeanne Alter: How the hell should I know? Maybe they just got lucky?

Ozymandias: You need to ask? The royal family's retainers clearly risked their lives to help them escape.

Ozymandias: That is what it is to be a loyal servant, even in the face of your country's imminent collapse!

Jeanne Alter: You don't say.

Arash: Maybe that means Vargas and García have been fending for themselves all this time because they were the only ones who managed to escape?

Arash: Besides, maybe it's because the prince witnessed loyalty like that when things were so dire...

Arash: ...that he grew up with such a strong sense of justice.

Mash: Now that I think about it... It does seem strange that the former government's court musician would have survived.

Salieri: Exactly. When the castle fell, the only ones meriting any sort of protection would have been royalty.

Salieri: Antonio would never have been spared, no matter how talented a musician he may have been.

Moriarty: Perhaps Antonio had some fans among the court, just as the prince had his retainers?

Salieri: Fans so devoted as to be willing to risk their lives for him? No one would do that, even for a peerless genius, let alone an ordinary person.

Fujimaru 1: I can think of a few.

Fujimaru 2: No comment.

Salieri: ...For the purposes of this story, assume that there was no one quite so odd as that.

Salieri: No, the reason Antonio survived the attack is obvious.

Salieri: He was relieved of his post as court musician just before the revolution took place.

Jeanne Alter: Yeah, that tracks. But why was he fired then?

Salieri: Ha! As if you need ask!

Salieri: Because he lacked talent!

Salieri: And without such talent...he must have been utterly lost once he no longer had his position at the palace.

Mash: That's awful...

Mash: B-but then, in that case, how did he become such a popular musician?

Salieri: There is a great deal of difference between what is popular with the masses and what is appreciated at court.

Salieri: ...A great deal of difference.

Jeanne Alter: Sounds like a guy speaking from experience.

Salieri: ... ...

Salieri: ...I am not Salieri. There is no point in bringing that up now.

Salieri: All right, that should fill in the blanks for Antonio's background.

Salieri: The next question is, why did he so fervently wish to come to the Meihousou?

Tristan: Now that you mention it, he did say he had to pull every string he could just to get here.

Salieri: After hearing rumors that Miguel had a fondness for young women, he may have thought to present Elise as a gift.

Jeanne Alter: Whoa. Scumbag, much? Prick should do the world a favor and die in a fire.

Jeanne Alter: Hell, I've got some gas and plenty of matches right here. Ready to burn, asshole?

Moriarty: Just as a reminder, there still hasn't been a single crime committed here!

Jeanne Alter: Anyway, I still don't get why Antonio would do that. He'd already found success as a popular musician, right?

Jeanne Alter: He's got fame and money. What else would the guy want at this point?

Salieri: That's exactly it.

Salieri: Antonio came to the Meihousou in search of something neither fame nor money could provide him.

Salieri: Something he wanted badly enough that he was willing to sell off his own partner.

Mash: And what was that?

Salieri: Sheet music. The sheet music left here by past court musicians.

Ryouma: I don't know how much they left behind, but whatever it was had to be here in the Meihousou.

Ryouma: Miguel was going around collecting all sorts of documents anyway, so I don't see why sheet music couldn't be among them.

Salieri: No matter how successful Antonio was among the larger populace...

Salieri: ...it could never wipe away the stain of his youthful failure. And he found himself unable to turn away from it completely.

Salieri: So he wanted to see the music his dead colleagues had left behind one more time.

Salieri: ...He had to know for sure.

Salieri: Had he made up for his prior lack of skill over the past ten years? Or was the gap insurmountable, no matter how hard he worked?

Shakespeare: They do say to write from experience if you want to quickly infuse a work with gravitas.

Shakespeare: While the finer details are, of course, quite different, it would seem bringing in elements of Antonio Salieri's own life here bear that out.

Andersen: It's a hell of a lot to throw at the viewer. But that's how it should be!

Mash: I think it's a wonderful idea!

Mash: But, um, it doesn't really get to the truth of the larger story, or help with its conclusion, does it?

Mash: If we went with it, it would make this story all about Antonio, rather than the murder at the Meihousou.

Salieri: ...I did think about how I could fit this story's existing pieces together.

Salieri: But I'm not as practiced at this as the others. Don't expect too much regarding the truth of this case.

Salieri: That said, I did think of a conclusion. I imagine it's just the sort of thing you would expect from an Avenger.

Moriarty: Well? What is it? Color me curious.

Moriarty: I, for one, would be quite interested in hearing a conclusion that doesn't cast me as the mastermind!

Salieri: I see no point in going into detail on a story that may never be filmed.

Salieri: All I will say for now is that if we do set about filming it, I expect I will need Sir Tristan's help.

Tristan: Hmm, I see. Well, if my help is required, then I would be glad to give it.

Tristan: (Though of course, that won't happen, since my idea is sure to be the one that's chosen.)

Tristan: (At least, I think so!)

Jeanne Alter: Geez, what's got you so worked up?

Section 12: Jeanne d'Arc (Alter)'s Script Pitch

Jeanne Alter: Guess it's my turn now. Hehehe.

Tristan: Oh? I thought I would go next...but of course, I'm happy to let you go first.

Tristan: (After all, there's no way you could top the idea I've come up with.)

Moriarty: (Tristan seems like he's come up with something interesting, but I suspect this contest's winners will be determined more by who speaks up first...)

Jeanne Alter: Don't mind if I do then.

Jeanne Alter: First off, how did you guys interpret Elise's mood at the beginning?

Arash: Hmm. Well, since she saw someone she dislikes enough to insult mercilessly collapse right in front of her...

Arash: ...I guess I'd say she was in kind of a, well, “Suck it!” mood...?

Mash: I remember Murasaki Shikibu actually asked Jeanne Alter to say as many mean things as possible.

Fujimaru 1: It's like you were born for the role.

Jeanne Alter: Oh, my sides are splitting. You looking for an ass-kicking, Master? You just gotta ask.

Fujimaru 2: You were so vicious at times it made me think you might be the culprit.

Jeanne Alter: Aww, thanks for the praise of my acting technique, Master. For your sake, I hope you're ready to pay the price.

Ryouma: Anyway, I'd say Elise struck me as being jealous and petty.

Jeanne Alter: I can see why you guys would think that, but my interpretation is completely different!

Jeanne Alter: I know Elise isn't exactly the delicate wallflower type. Especially not with me playing her.

Jeanne Alter: ... ...

Jeanne Alter: Tch. Really? Nothing?

Fujimaru 1: (SO glad I bit my tongue there!)

Jeanne Alter: Anyway, I read something veeery interesting in a mang–philosophy book the other day.

Jeanne Alter: It said that people only get jealous of others who have something they want.

Jeanne Alter: I don't really know anything about that kinda whiny crap, but it sounds right to me.

Jeanne Alter: So if Elise was jealous of Gabriela, you might think it's because of her money. But it couldn't be that, because Elise was already comfortable in her singing career and on her way to being truly rich.

Jeanne Alter: No, I think that if Elise was actually jealous of her, it would only be because Gabriela was a better singer.

Jeanne Alter: So I don't think she was jealous. I think it goes deeper than that.

Ryouma: Well, if Elise really did upset Gabriela, it'd probably make her professional life a lot harder, no matter how popular a singer she is.

Salieri: Indeed. If she cared about her career that much, I can't imagine she would truly risk incurring an authority figure's wrath...

Salieri: ...and if she merely disliked Gabriela, she could have just badmouthed her behind her back.

Mash: So, if Elise wasn't jealous of Gabriela...what did she feel?

Jeanne Alter: I'd say she was strongly fixated on her.

Mash: Huh?

Jeanne Alter: The way I see it, Elise had a very personal reason for coming to the Meihousou.

Jeanne Alter: A reason that motivated her to pull every string she could to get in, just like Antonio did for his sheet music.

Jeanne Alter: She wanted to see her beloved childhood friend again!

Fujimaru 1: A childhood friend? Who would that be?

Jeanne Alter: Back when this country was still the Kingdom of Nadai Nadha, Elise was a child living in poverty.

Jeanne Alter: There's no way she would've had a good life in the final months leading up to the coup. Luckily, Elise had a close friend she could always lean on for support...

Jeanne Alter: I think that friend was Gabriela. Let's say she was called...Kaoru, back when she was a little girl.

Jeanne Alter: While I'm at it, I'd adopt Ryouma's idea of making her Daizou's lost sister.

Ryouma: Aww, thanks. I'm honored.

Ryouma: And since we already had a scene where I thought Elise might be Daizou's sister, there shouldn't be any problem establishing that you're around the same age.

Jeanne Alter: But then one day, Kaoru suddenly disappeared. Rumor had it that General Cortés took her in as his daughter.

Arash: And since Elise was still a commoner, there was no way she'd be able to see her friend again now that she's basically royalty.

Jeanne Alter: But Elise didn't give up. She vowed to see her friend again, and used what few familial bonds she had to find Antonio...

Jeanne Alter: ...and worked hard to become a singer famous enough to rub shoulders with royalty.

Jeanne Alter: Eventually, all that hard work paid off, and she finally came face-to-face with Kaoru again.

Ryouma: But Gabriela didn't treat you like a childhood friend. If anything, it seemed like she didn't recognize you at all.

Jeanne Alter: I don't know if she really didn't recognize me, or if she was just pretending not to...

Jeanne Alter: ...but either way, you can imagine how pissed I would be to come all this way only to have my closest childhood friend ignore me.

Jeanne Alter: I think that's why I was such a bitch to her, even though I was happy to see she was alive and well.

Fujimaru 1: You still, um, overdid it a bit.

Jeanne Alter: Yeah, probably. Also, shut up. Think about it from Kaoru's perspective.

Jeanne Alter: There was nothing she could do about her brother going missing, or about being taken in by some creepy old guy from the old court.

Jeanne Alter: It doesn't matter how nice her new life was, she was still a bird in a gilded cage. She must've had to bury her feelings deep down just to get through the day.

Jeanne Alter: That's why I wanted Kaoru to stop suffering in silence.

Jeanne Alter: I wanted to hear how she really felt, even if it meant she'd never speak to me again. That's all.

Mash: That's a lot to take in, but I love how dramatic it is. Although...does that mean Elise isn't the culprit then?

Jeanne Alter: Hell no.

Jeanne Alter: There's no way Elise would do anything to ruin her chances of seeing Gabriela's reaction after coming all this way.

Jeanne Alter: If anything, she'd be furious at the culprit for robbing her of this opportunity.

Jeanne Alter: Not to mention that if Gabriela ends up dying from this, she'll never have another chance to talk to her.

Jeanne Alter: So Elise would throw everything she has into finding the culprit, for Gabriela's sake as much as her own.

Tristan: The culprit, hmm... Would Miguel fill that role here, like he has in other scenarios?

Jeanne Alter: Oh yeah, Miguel... Nah, the old creep can stay dead so he doesn't get in the way.

Moriarty: Ouch!

Jeanne Alter: Ugh, just deal with it. You've been dead this whole time anyway!

Jeanne Alter: And Elise wouldn't have any reason to undergo combat training, so she couldn't do a fight scene anyway.

Jeanne Alter: Besides, I already know how this story ends.

Tristan: But if Miguel isn't the mastermind, how do you intend to tie up all the loose ends?

Jeanne Alter: Simple. Gabriela's a young widow. It's no stretch to think that people around her might get some wicked ideas...

Jeanne Alter: I'd say her servants wanted to steal all of Cortés's legacy for themselves.

Ozymandias: Hmm, makes sense. The government could take back any land and property they try to steal, but if they have dirt on the people in power, that would give them considerably more freedom to act as they like.

Jeanne Alter: But of course, they'd be the first to be suspected if they killed Gabriela when no one else was around, so they waited for an opportunity like this to try and poison her.

Jeanne Alter: All they'd have to do then is pin their crime on one of the guests. Yeah, that works!

Jeanne Alter: This way, we can say that Salazar tried to kill Vargas to make his death look like a suicide.

Ozymandias: Still, this would make Salazar the culprit.

Ozymandias: Would it not be somewhat anticlimactic to have him already be dead for the film's conclusion?

Jeanne Alter: Hey, I said “servants,” plural. Salazar's not the only one in this scenario.

Ozymandias: A number of servants, hmm...

Ozymandias: Still, we never see any of these other servants during the film. How would you explain that?

Jeanne Alter: I mean, sure, that's a little weird if you think about it...but it's also weird that there'd only be one servant in this giant mansion, right?

Ozymandias: True, that is highly unrealistic.

Jeanne Alter: So we could say that there's actually lots of servants behind the scenes, and they just don't ever actually appear on-screen.

Arash: Now I see. That sounds like a great idea!

Mash: I suppose we could request that Chaldea's staff play the servants, but that seems like a lot to ask this late in the production.

Jeanne Alter: Well sure, it'd be a huge challenge getting ten or twenty extras here at this point. But we don't have to do that. All we need is a single actor.

Jeanne Alter: And luckily for us, we've got someone perfectly ordinary and unremarkable riiight here with us.

Tristan: Um, I'm afraid I don't know who you mean.

Jeanne Alter: Ugh, you're so dense. [♂ He's /♀ She's] standing right there, looking like a confused dweeb even as we speak.

Jeanne Alter: Aren't you, Fujimaru?

Fujimaru 1: Wait. You don't mean...

Jeanne Alter: Oh, now you get it! That's right. You're our new culprit!

Fujimaru 2: Huh? What are you talking about?

Jeanne Alter: Ugh, how are you such an idiot!? I'm talking about making you into the culprit, dumbass!

Mash: That's it!

Mash: Oh... Sorry. I'm afraid I got a little carried away...

Mash: See, Jeanne Alter's idea is a staple of mystery movies...

Mash: ...where it turns out the person behind the camera was actually one of the characters all along.

Mash: And above all, this way, Senpai can be part of the cast too! I think it's a wonderful idea!

Arash: Good point! If Fujimaru's a servant here, it only makes sense that [♂ he'd /♀ she'd] be sticking close to us all this time.

Arash: And that also means [♂ he'd /♀ she'd] be able to keep an eye on everything and move about freely...

Arash: In a sense, it makes [♂ him /♀ her] way more of a villain than Moriarty!

Moriarty: Was it really necessary to bring me into this?

Jeanne Alter: Then, when I point to the culprit, the camera can do a one-eighty...

Jeanne Alter: ...and reveal Fujimaru as the mastermind who's literally been working behind the scenes this whole time.

Ozymandias: ...Heh. Intriguing! Your idea has a great deal of merit to it, fire woman!

Jeanne Alter: Damn straight.

Jeanne Alter: Still, I know it's kind of a stretch, so I wouldn't blame you if it's not what you go with.

Jeanne Alter: Hmm. You know, being creative is kind of fun.

Mash: Come to think of it, you also said you already knew how this story ends, right, Jeanne Alter?

Mash: Would you tell us what you have in mind?

Jeanne Alter: Hm? Oh, well, it's nothing that special.

Jeanne Alter: After I reveal the culprit, it's basically just a scene of me and a still-sleeping Gabriela where I tell her how I really feel.

Jeanne Alter: As for how that would go, you can find out once we start filming!

Section 13: Tristan's Script Pitch

Mash: On another note, I'm very impressed by how much thought you've all put into your ideas.

Mash: But of course, Isidoro is a great detective, so his is bound to be just as good if not better. Right, Tristan?

Tristan: ...

Tristan: ... ...

Mash: Um... Tristan?

Tristan: (I'm done for...)

Jeanne Alter: What's wrong? You look like it's the end of the world or something.

Tristan: (I can't believe she had the same idea as me...!)

Tristan: (I staked everything on my originality, and now I don't have an original leg to stand on!)

Tristan: (If I say my idea was to make Master the culprit now, they'll think I was just ripping off Jeanne...!)

Tristan: ...Mash, being a detective is much, much more difficult than it seems.

Tristan: They may appear to be author-blessed with special privileges, but at their heart, they have almost nothing propping them up.

Tristan: The fact that I cannot rely on drama for the conclusion like the rest of you left me at a great disadvantage.

Tristan: I see now that I should have been planting clues for the conclusion earlier in the story...

Tristan: Perhaps something that would let me claim to secretly be another character's brother, or a character everyone else thought was dead...

Mash: Tristan...

Tristan: By the time I found myself wishing to take on the lead role, it was already too late.

Tristan: Alas, if only I had realized these feelings sooner...

Jeanne Alter: Oh, also Adriana was doing almost all the actual detective work.

Ryouma: True. At this point, I can't tell what his character is even doing here.

Salieri: Indeed. For that matter, he hasn't even justified why he's been carrying a harp around this whole time.

Fujimaru 1: Have you just been asleep this whole time?

Tristan: The way things are going now, Isidoro will be nothing but a useless scarecrow claiming to be a great detective.

Tristan: Can I truly let things end this way?

Tristan: ...No. No, I cannot!

Jeanne Alter: Hey, spare us the whole sackcloth and ashes routine.

Jeanne Alter: Though it's true that up to this point...

Jeanne Alter: ...you haven't done a single, solitary, detectivey thing.

Tristan: Your words cut deeper than any blade!

Tristan: But it's all right. I decided to come at things from a different angle, and make use of my incompetence.

Mash: Um, Tristan?

Tristan: Given that, at this point, Isidoro is indeed a detective in name only...

Tristan: ...what if it was actually Adriana who has been controlling him all along?

Tristan: Then, upon revealing herself as the true detective, Adriana could identify the culprit, and that would be the end.

Arash: Oho, so you're taking my subverted expectations idea and running with it, huh? I like it!

Jeanne Alter: But if we go with that, you're gonna need a real doozy of an explanation.

Tristan: Ah yes, the explanation...

Tristan: At this point, I'd say any of them would do.

Jeanne Alter: Huh?

Tristan: As long as we keep glossing over any accidents in filming the way we have been, it doesn't matter what the truth ultimately is.

Tristan: Any one of the ideas you four came up with would work fine.

Salieri: Wouldn't that mean abandoning the larger premise?

Tristan: No, it wouldn't. Because the conclusion I have in mind begins after that part.

Ozymandias: Oh? Did you not just say it would be the end after Adriana solves the mystery?

Tristan: I decided to try looking at things a little differently.

Tristan: While you've all been preoccupied with solving the Meihousou's murder mystery...

Tristan: ...my case involves solving the mystery of this Hollywood Meihousou itself.

Tristan: In other words, we make the out of character footage itself part of the movie.

Ryouma: So you'd be including our own, actual confusion in the story, huh.

Ryouma: That would change everything about the movie.

Tristan: We should arguably never have tried to film a movie without an overarching theme in mind.

Tristan: So now that we have, we could make Murasaki Shikibu's fainting incident the true mystery.

Tristan: What if her fainting wasn't actually an unfortunate accident, but only disguised to look like one?

Tristan: And if that were the case, who would stand to benefit from removing her from the scene?

Tristan: Does that not sound like an interesting mystery?

Andersen: Tch, you went the meta route, huh.

Andersen: Still, that could work for a puzzle mystery as long as you take it seriously, though you're stretching this to the breaking point.

Andersen: That said, you'll need to have a really good explanation, or the viewers won't accept it. What've you got?

Tristan: Ah, I shouldn't tip my hand any further. All I will say is that I guarantee it will be interesting.

Tristan: After all...I am this movie's detective!

Jeanne Alter: So you're saving the best part for your own character, huh.

Mash: I am very curious about Tristan's idea...

Mash: At any rate, we now have five possible endings to choose from.

Mash: They all sound great, but we sadly don't have time to film them all.

Mash: I guess things turned out just like Dr. Roman said they would... What do you say, Master?

Fujimaru 1: Hmm... If I can only choose one...

All: Yes?

Fujimaru 1: ...I'd have to go with...

Section 14: Arash END

B:???: Damn Salazar... I ordered him to kill the prince, not to accidentally poison Gabriela.

B:???: To make matters worse, the fool went and got himself killed...

B:???: Still, at least he was able to finish off the prince before he died. I might even still be able to revive Gabriela.

B:???: But in the meantime, what am I going to do...?

García: I knew you'd be hiding out here. I would have done the same thing, after all.

Miguel: Well, well... If it isn't the esteemed hunting dog.

Miguel: I'm impressed you managed to find this room. Most people would never even notice its existence...

García: This manor used to belong to the royal family. Vargas and I played hide and seek here when we were kids more times than I can count.

García: No matter how much you renovate the Meihousou, you can't change its fundamental layout.

Miguel: Hmm... You're brave, strong, and sharp. Just the sort of man I'd hoped you were.

García: What are you talking about?

Miguel: I'm offering you a job.

Miguel: How would you like to stay at the Meihousou, and carry on in Salazar's stead?

García: Are you serious?

Miguel: I faked my death so I could retire from the world's stage and run this country from behind the scenes like a ghost.

Miguel: But there's only so much a ghost can do on his own. I still need living people, like Gabriela and Salazar, to enact my will.

Miguel: And now that Salazar is dead, well, you can imagine my predicament.

Miguel: What do you say? Come work for me, and you will want for nothing.

Miguel: Furthermore, the day I truly die is not far off. When I go, all this will be yours. Not a bad deal, don't you think?

García: I refuse.

Miguel: Oh? So you're here merely to seek revenge, like a fool?

García: That sounds like a confession to me.

Miguel: I admit, I did order Salazar to kill the prince, but now that he's gone, you have no one left to pledge your loyalty to, correct?

Miguel: I'm prepared to pay you handsomely to compensate for the loss of your master. You can even have Gabrie–

García: Have you truly forgotten me, Miguel?

Miguel: It can't be...

Miguel: You mean YOU'RE Prince Concordia!?

García: Took your time figuring it out. Then again, I suppose I was still just a child ten years ago.

Miguel: I can't believe you were so sneaky as to use a double... You had me completely fooled.

Miguel: Even so...this only means you have all the more reason to team up with me.

Miguel: If you play your cards right with my legacy, you might even be able to reinstate the royal family.

Miguel: I haven't even told Gabriela about the truly valuable parts of my legacy.

Miguel: But if you kill me now, all of it will be lost forev–

Miguel: Guh! I can't believe it... I never thought I would go out...like this...

García: ...You can't turn back the clock, no matter how much you want to. You should have stayed dead.

Roma: Hey there. What're you doing up this late?

García: Oh, hey there, Doc. Hope I didn't wake you.

García: I just thought I would leave a bit early. I still gotta bury Vargas, after all.

Roma: Well, you'll be glad to know that Gabriela regained consciousness a short while ago. She's sleeping again right now, but she should be all better soon.

García: I see... I am glad to hear that.

García: Please give her my best once she wakes up.

Roma: By the way, my nose might not be as sharp as yours, but it isn't bad. It's especially sensitive to the smell of blood.

García: Trust me, you're better off not knowing. Don't worry, I'll take full responsibility for any trouble that ensues.

Roma: ...Still, you don't strike me as a bad guy.

García: Good guys don't go around killing people.

Roma: ...

Roma: Let me just ask you this: Are you Prince Concordia?

García: No. He died a long time ago.

Roma: I see. Sorry about that.

Roma: You know, now that Salazar is gone, it's going to be real lonely for Gabriela here.

Roma: Would you mind staying here and keeping her company?

García: Keep Gabriela safe, hunt just enough to get by... Huh, that does sound nice.

Roma: So, you'll do it?

García: I can't. There's still something I need to do. It's why Vargas and I traveled the world.

Roma: I've heard on the radio at my clinic about some mysterious heroes going around helping people. I can't believe it was you guys.

García: Helping people is the last prince of Nadai Nadha's job. The country's government might have changed, but the prince's duty remains.

Roma: That's awfully noble of you, Maybe things would've turned out differently if you had been king.

García: I don't know about that. But I can say this.

García: I saved Gabriela. As far as I'm concerned, that's good enough.

Section 14: Sakamoto Ryouma END

Roma: ...I just examined Gabriela, and things seem to have settled down.

Roma: Her condition could still change without warning, but for the moment, she appears to be stable.

Isidoro: I see. I'm glad you won't need to remain at her bedside any longer.

Isidoro: Why don't you get some rest? Adriana and I can take turns watching her for the rest of the night.

Roma: I appreciate that.

Roma: But I can't risk her condition getting worse. If you're willing to watch her, I think I can get away with a short nap.

Isidoro: Why short? We're fine watching her for a while. Hell, sleep through the night while you're at it.

Roma: Haha, I might just do that. But I'll come back if I have any trouble sleeping.

Adriana: Um, Roma?

Adriana: Have a good night.

Roma: Thanks, you too.

García: ...Oh, it's you, Doc. What're you doing up so late?

Roma: García, don't you want to avenge Vargas?

García: Of course I do. If I'd known Salazar planned to kill him, I'd have put an arrow through his heart myself.

Roma: Then how about we work together? You look like you know your way around this mansion well.

Roma: If you know of any good hiding spots here, I'd like you to tell me.

Roma: See, I know how a certain man thinks. More than that, I know what sort of place he'd use to hide.

García: ...All right, I'm in. But what's your game here?

Roma: Would you believe I'm trying to find closure regarding my best friend?

Roma: Take a look at this.

García: What is it?

Roma: A report on the coup that took place ten years ago. It's part of Cortés's legacy.

Roma: It says that Daizou and General Tan ended up killing each other.

Roma: General Tan was the best swordsman in the army...the whole country, really. He's the only one who could possibly defeat Daizou in a fair fight.

García: Yeah, General Tan was amazing. He was noble, brave, well-liked...

García: I never would have guessed his last opponent was Daizou Oka, the sword demon.

Roma: Are you still unconvinced?

García: ...No, I believe you. I'm also trying to find some closure regarding my best friend's death, personally.

García: Come on. I'll show you every room where that bastard could possibly hide.

Miguel: ...Good grief. And after all the trouble I took to hide where no one would find me.

Roma: So you're the one who killed Daizou.

García: Huh? I thought that report said he and General Tan died fighting each other...

Miguel: I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was purely coincidence that they both fell in their duel.

Roma: Is that so? Funny how so many of your enemies just happen to end up taking each other out for you.

Roma: You sure you didn't put some sort of spell on them?

Miguel: Ah yes, you used to work for me, didn't you? It seems you understand how I operate.

Miguel: Casting a spell is the easiest thing in the world. All I need to do is provide the inferior side with some...motivation.

Miguel: In fact, I can do the same to you right now.

Miguel: What... How...

Roma: Let me guess. You thought if you personally guaranteed my wife's well-being...

Roma: ...I would be willing to stab García in the back for you?

Miguel: How...did you know...?

Roma: I bet Daizou was thrilled to accept that proposal for his sister. I might've done the same if I was in his position.

Roma: But there's no way I'd fall for it now that I know how your game works.

Roma: Sorry I didn't give you a chance to exact your own revenge, García.

García: Don't worry about it. I'd have done the same thing in your shoes.

Roma: ...Let's leave his body here.

Roma: He deserves to rot here alone until someone tears this place down around him.

Adriana: Oh, welcome back. Did you have a good rest?

Roma: Yup, you could say that. I feel a lot better now, that's for sure.

Isidoro: ...

Adriana: Mr. Paggioli is asleep right now too. It took me years to be able to tell, but now I know for sure.

Roma: Heh, I see... Say, could I ask you to give me and Gabriela some privacy for a bit? Don't worry, I'm not gonna try anything funny.

Adriana: May I ask why?

Roma: Gabriela's brother was one of my dearest friends. She's all that's left of his family now.

Roma: I have a lot to tell her, even if she's still asleep.

Adriana: I see. Then please, take all the time you need.

Roma: ...I guess I should say it's nice to meet you again.

Roma: Your brother and I joined the army at the same time.

Roma: I had a gift for healing people, and he had a gift for breaking them. In many ways, we couldn't have been more different.

Roma: But for whatever reason, we still got along really well. Or at least, I thought we did.

Roma: But after we joined the army, we had to face the fact that the kingdom was beyond saving.

Roma: Despite that, I did my best to shut my eyes to reality, and just kept up my work as a medical officer.

Roma: I may as well have been shooting morphine straight into my heart.

Roma: I'm sure I lost your brother's respect for that.

Roma: Did you just smile? Maybe I only imagined it.

Roma: But if you like hearing about this, I'd be glad to tell you more...

Roma: As much as you want to hear.

Section 14: Salieri END

Antonio: ...I've found them!

Antonio: Hahaha, I remember these... Ahh, these bring back memories.

Antonio: These are just the sort of pieces they would compose.

Antonio: Unbelievably complex... Detached from the world at large...

Antonio: And above all...elegant and beautiful.

Antonio: I knew it. No reproduction could ever do these works justice.

Isidoro: Just as I suspected.

Antonio: What are you doing here, detective?

Isidoro: Looking for something, just like you.

Isidoro: There's a certain high-ranking government official who's also a patron of the arts, you see, and he's been dying to get his hands on the court musicians' handwritten sheet music.

Isidoro: Despite my looks, I actually specialize in rock 'n' roll, so I had no way of knowing which was the sheet music I was asked to find.

Isidoro: So I decided to simply wait for you to find it for me.

Antonio: You don't say... Does that mean you were the one behind these incidents?

Isidoro: I never wanted to kill Gabriela.

Isidoro: I just wanted someone to collapse so I would have an excuse to move about the mansion freely.

Isidoro: So when Salazar brought us our wine glasses, I added poison to one of them when I took mine.

Isidoro: I never expected her to pick the poisoned glass. What a truly unlucky woman she is.

Antonio: So you had no intention of killing her, huh. Then how do you explain Salazar and Vargas's deaths?

Isidoro: Ah yes, that was quite careless of me.

Isidoro: Salazar happened to find me while I was ransacking the storehouse...

Isidoro: ...so I had no choice but to dispose of him.

Isidoro: Soon after, Vargas came by looking for Salazar...so I likewise had to dispose of him.

Isidoro: I was fortunate that he turned his back on me.

Antonio: So you made it look as though the two of them killed each other. You're a monster.

Antonio: So now what? Are you going to kill me, too?

Isidoro: Is that what you think of me? How disappointing.

Isidoro: Killing is strictly a means to an end. I prefer not to do it at all when it can be avoided.

Isidoro: I'm perfectly willing to let you go as long as you give me all the sheet music.

Antonio: ...I don't suppose you'd give me time to think it over, would you?

Isidoro: What's there to think about?

Isidoro: That moldy old sheet music was written by musicians who never accepted you.

Isidoro: If anything, I would think you'd want to be rid of it forever.

Antonio: What would you know!?

Antonio: Simón, Fernando, David, Aurelio... Don't run your mouth when you clearly have no idea what exceptional talents they were!

Antonio: Even if their art had stagnated and was out of touch with the rest of the world...this place was everything to me.

Isidoro: (Sigh) Now look at the mess you've made... It's going to take me forever to gather them all up again.

Isidoro: Still, that was clearly a refusal of my offer, so...I trust you've made your peace with dying as well?

Antonio: Please. I knew a monster like you would never let me go.

Isidoro: My, my, we have some trust issues, I see.

Antonio: You might be one of the best in your field, but it seems you still have a lot to learn about psychology.

Isidoro: Fire!?

Isidoro: What have you done!?

Antonio: If you want the music, all you have to do is put the fire out.

Isidoro: Help me, you fool! Before the whole mansion goes up in flames with it!

Antonio: So what if it does? It's no concern of mine.

Isidoro: Dammit, why won't it go out!? Ah!

Isidoro: Aah, I'm on fire! Aaaaaahhh!

Antonio: You fool. You could have survived if you'd only given up on the sheet music.

Antonio: That said, it looks like I've doomed myself as well.

Elise: Uncle? What have you done!?

Antonio: Is that you, Elise?

Antonio: This is as far as I go. Whatever you do, don't come in here yourself.

Elise: What are you, nuts? I'm going to go get help!

Antonio: Don't! They'll never be able to put out the fire in time, anyway.

Antonio: You need to escape with everyone else before the fire spreads.

Elise: But...

Antonio: We still have some time before that happens. There's something I need to tell you.

Antonio: The revolution happened two days after I was kicked out of the palace. I was...delighted by my good fortune in that respect.

Antonio: All at once, everyone who had mocked my ability was dead. My revenge had been carried out by fate itself.

Antonio: At the time, I thought that the last one standing was the winner, regardless of the circumstances.

Antonio: I vowed to make the most of my new lease on life and go down as one of this nation's most popular musicians.

Antonio: Now, ten years later, no one can deny my success.

Antonio: But...no matter how much the masses praised my music, it never filled the hole in my heart.

Antonio: If anything, the more songs I wrote, the louder I could hear the other palace musicians sneering at me.

Elise: ...Look, Uncle, I've always been too embarrassed to tell you this, but I love your songs! They're wonderful!

Antonio: Of course they are. That's because I was copying my favorite works.

Elise: Copying? What do you mean?

Antonio: The music played at the palace was always too dull and difficult for the masses to enjoy it.

Antonio: So I used their compositions as the base for songs that were easier to listen to... I wasn't writing my own music, I was translating theirs.

Antonio: I'm sure they would have laughed at me if they had still been alive. Even I can only hear a crude imitation of their work whenever I listen to one of my compositions.

Antonio: But that's all right. No matter how much I despised them, I loved their music more than anyone.

Antonio: It would seem this is goodbye.

Antonio: There's no need to grieve for me, Elise.

Antonio: I should have died that day ten years ago... The day I lost the only place in which I truly belonged.

Antonio: My talent may be counterfeit, but yours is genuine. You'll be just fine without me.

Elise: What are you saying, Uncle!? Are you stupid or something!?

Antonio: Just make sure to do something about that foul mouth of yours. I won't be able to shield you from the consequences any longer, after all...

Elise: Uncle!!!

Antonio: It's you... Simón... Fernando... David... Aurelio... Are you all here to laugh at me?

Antonio: Well? Go on then, don't hold back. If you've got something to say to me, it is now or never. I always hated the way you guys never said things to my face.

Antonio: But just so you know, I can write a song just as good, if not better than any of yours now...

Antonio: So first...you'd better play me...one of yours...

Section 14: Jeanne d'Arc (Alter) END

Elise: I think I might have figured out who did this.

Adriana: Really? Are you sure?

Adriana: Then, how did they make sure that only Gabriela's glass would be poisoned?

Elise: That's just it. We shouldn't have assumed that Gabriela's glass was the only one that was poisoned.

Elise: The truth is, they were all poisoned. She would have collapsed no matter which one she chose.

Adriana: But if that's so, then why didn't any of the other guests fall ill?

Elise: I see I wasn't clear enough. Sorry about that.

Elise: What I mean is that the wine contained only trace amounts of poison. It wouldn't be nearly enough to make a healthy person sick by itself.

Elise: But what if that same poison had been building up in that same someone's body day by day, and the trace amounts in the wine were enough to trigger symptoms?

Roma: Interesting. I never considered that possibility.

Roma: But if that is true...

Roma: ...it would mean whoever is responsible for this would have to have been capable of poisoning Gabriela's food and drink every day.

Elise: Exactly. And the only one who could do something like that...is a servant here in the mansion.

Elise: That's right. I'm looking at you.

Fujimaru 1: How did you know...?

Elise: You've been hanging around us this whole time, making sure to watch everything we do.

Elise: There's no telling what kind of sneaky shit you could've gotten up to if you felt like it.

Elise: Come on, Kaoru. Aren't you ready to wake up?

Elise: Did you honestly forget your real name?

Elise: You know, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I was gonna say to you when I finally saw you again.

Elise: But all I could come up with was trite shit like “Long time no see” or “How've you been?”...

Elise: Still, I eventually figured that as long as you still remembered me, what I said wouldn't be important.

Elise: But then it didn't even seem like you recognized me, and before I knew it, I was trashing you right to your face.

Elise: I...I was sure that would at least get your attention, and I'd finally hear how you really felt.

Elise: I never thought you'd collapse from being poisoned before I got the chance.

Elise: But hey, I caught the [♂ guy /♀ girl] who's been doing this to you, so...all you have to worry about now is getting better.

Elise: I don't care if you want to start back up where we left off, or if you never want to see me again. I just want to hear how you really feel...no matter how long it takes.

Section 14: Tristan END

A:Adriana: ...The culprit's only mistake was failing to realize that I was the real detective all along.

A:Adriana: And that culprit...is you!

Moriarty: Cut! Good work, everyone.

Mash: I'm sorry for stealing your thunder, Tristan...

Tristan: Not at all... You saved me from a dire predicament.

Tristan: Hehe... You were my wise, reserved, newly anointed knight with hidden eyes... I may not be Bartholomew, but you've made me very happy nonetheless...

Tristan: I'm sorry to have been so much trouble for you. I wish I could have been more insightful.

Tristan: Still, I promise to repay the debt I now owe you. I hope you will call on me the next time you decide to indict Sir Lancelot...

Mash: Um, we don't usually go around indicting people for no reason... Not even Lancelot...

Ozymandias: I am still vexed about losing my part in the middle of filming! To think that I, Pharaoh Ozymandias, would be reduced to sitting around watching from behind the scenes!

Ozymandias: Still, I will admit that this experience has been fairly enjoyable in spite of that.

Ozymandias: And since I have been entrusted with other grand events, I suppose I can let the rest of you have the glory in this Singularity.

Ozymandias: If you should ever make it to my tomb someday, I will throw you a feast for the ages!

Mash: Thank you, Pharaoh Ozymandias. That sounds wonderful!

Arash: So now we just check the dailies and see if there's anything we need to reshoot, right?

Arash: 'Course, I doubt there'll be any reshoots now. Your performance was just that great, missy.

Mash: Thank you, Arash.

Jeanne Alter: ...All right, I guess you win this one.

Jeanne Alter: But I'm not losing next time, got it? You can count on that, dammit!

Mash: I know. I'm looking forward to it.

Salieri: Indeed, this came out better than I imagined. I think even my queen will be pleased with it.

Mash: I'm honored to hear you say so, Salieri.

Ryouma: Great work today, Mash. You really outdid yourself with that performance.

Moriarty: I heartily agree.

Mash: Thank you... You're both much too kind.

Mash: Oh, how's Murasaki doing? Is she all right?

Ryouma: She's still out cold at the moment, but it should only be a matter of time until she wakes up.

Moriarty: I just hope she does so before we are forced to depart this Singularity.

Moriarty: If anyone would like to join me in paying her a visit, raise your hand!

Mash: I'll catch up later.

Tristan: Is something bothering you, Mash? You seem somewhat restless...

Mash: I do?

Mash: What about you, Tristan? Is there something else you wanted to do here?

Tristan: ...That almost sounds as though you want me to go away, Mash.

Mash: !

Tristan: So I was right.

Tristan: Is this what you were looking for?

Fujimaru 1: Th-that's the trash can with the wrapping paper!

Fujimaru 2: What would Mash want with that trash can?

Tristan: Then you still haven't realized the truth, Master?

Tristan: The one behind all of this was none other than your faithful Demi-Servant, Mash!

Fujimaru 1: Whaaat!?

Tristan: It's quite clear if you look at the whole case without bias.

Tristan: The detective character was an outsider lacking a proper backstory. One wrong move, and they could have ended up completely superfluous.

Tristan: This is why trying to click with the story and build a natural rapport with the other characters was not easy.

Tristan: And if it was difficult for the detective to stand out, it was even more so for the detective's assistant.

Mash: ... (Special Description: Mash nodding along eagerly)

Moriarty: (No, no, Mash! You're supposed to sneer wickedly there! Come on, just like I showed you!)

Mash: Y-yes! That is correct!

Mash: I didn't want to be relegated to the sidelines. I'm Senpai's main Servant, you know!

Mash: So when I learned that Murasaki had typecast me as nothing more than a young Servant, with no intention of letting me stand out...

Mash: ...I mixed the medicine I got from Paracelsus that I'd been saving for just the right occasion into her drink!

Moriarty: (Brava! Your halting delivery makes it seem that much more real!)

Tristan: I see. So you knew that Murasaki had gone to Paracelsus to get medicine herself.

Tristan: That's why you thought you could get away with sneaking in your own...

Mash: That's right... And it worked. She took it and never suspected a thing.

Mash: And when she did...I knew I had won.

Tristan: Unfortunately for you, your scheme had a major flaw.

Tristan: You presented the wrapping paper you yourself threw away as evidence, claiming it was proof that Murasaki had taken the medicine of her own accord.

Tristan: The only problem is that the paper you threw in the trash can didn't have her fingerprints on it.

Tristan: Furthermore, there was every possibility that your fingerprints were all over it.

Tristan: Once you realized your oversight, you knew you had to get rid of the evidence.

Mash: With Murasaki out of the picture, I was certain I could manipulate you and do whatever I wanted.

Tristan: And indeed, that's exactly what happened...

Tristan: Your only mistake, Mash, was failing to realize that my clownish incompetence was merely an act!

Fujimaru 1: An act? Of all today's weirdness, that is the hardest to believe...

Tristan: Hey! I didn't ask for commentary, I'm being serious here.

Mash: ...You're right. I underestimated you, Tristan the Great Sleeping Detective. You beat me fair and square.

Mash: I'm prepared to accept whatever punishment you deem fit...

Tristan: Punishment? I think you misunderstood me.

Tristan: All you did was give Murasaki some medicine to help her feel better.

Tristan: And when she ended up collapsing, you rallied us all together in her stead and saw this movie through to the end.

Tristan: Why can't we just leave it at that?

Mash: Huh? But, that's not what–

Tristan: As wiser people than I have said, Mash: hate the sin, love the sinner.

Mash: Tristan... Thank you...

Tristan: This has been a fun opportunity. If we do this again, I would love to bring Great Detective Tristan back!

Fujimaru 1: Great Detective...?

Tristan: Tristan!

Section 15: Dailies

Mash: This has been an amazing experience.

Jeanne Alter: Yeah, never figured filming a movie could be just as fun as fighting, though in a different sorta way.

Arash: There you are.

Arash: Great news! Murasaki's awake now!

Mash: Really!?

Mash: Come on Senpai, let's go see her!

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm so sorry for making you all worry about me.

Fujimaru 1: It's okay. Accidents happen.

Jeanne Alter: Sure, but next time you go taking medicine, read the damn instructions, will you? I don't give a shit how tired you are, you should know what it does!

Fujimaru 2: Please don't be sorry, Murasaki. It wasn't your fault.

Murasaki Shikibu: S-so, how is the production going right now?

Mash: As a matter of fact, we managed to finish it ourselves while you were sleeping.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh my! You actually finished it!?

Mash: We did. Our editor at Chaldea is working furiously on the footage as we speak.

Mash: But we do have the rough cut here if you'd like to see it.

Murasaki Shikibu: ...Yes, I would love to.

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh my... I can't believe it...

Fujimaru 1: That bad, huh?

Murasaki Shikibu: Oh no! Not at all!

Murasaki Shikibu: I can't possibly thank you all enough for finishing the film while I was indisposed.

Murasaki Shikibu: All I've done this whole time is make trouble for the rest of you...

Shakespeare: Are you sure that's all you wish to say, Murasaki? If there's anything else, best you spit it out now.

Murasaki Shikibu: I-I'm afraid I don't know what you mean, Lord Shakespeare...

Holmes: Then permit me to elaborate in your stead, Ms. Murasaki, since time is of the essence in this Singularity.

Holmes: Your original idea for this movie was to make it a variation on The Tale of Genji. Am I correct?

Fujimaru 1: A variation...?

Mash: I'm afraid I only know a little bit about that story myself, but now that you mention it, I can see the similarities...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...It's embarrassing to explain this now, but you're exactly right, Lord Holmes.

Murasaki Shikibu: I based Miguel and Gabriela's relationship on the one between Genji and Murasaki.

Murasaki Shikibu: I wanted to try simulating what would happen...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...if a young girl who was taken in by an older man, and raised to be a lady of high society...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...was suddenly set free to lead her own life.

Murasaki Shikibu: I also planned to include a large cast of varied characters: the former prince and his attendant, a doctor, an artistic genius, mysterious detectives, a faithful servant, and a mean-spirited singer...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...and have them all take part in a series of melodramas that revolved around Gabriela.

Shakespeare: That would make Antonio Ariwara-no-Narihira, and Elise Sei Shounagon.

Shakespeare: ...Sei Shounagon, huh...

Jeanne Alter: If there's something you wanna say to me, playwright, how 'bout you say it to my face? I'll even be nice and listen, seeing as they'll be the last words you ever freakin' speak.

Shakespeare: (And the Meihousou itself must be based on Byodoin's Phoenix Hall... Though I suppose that hardly matters now.)

Murasaki Shikibu: Gabriela and Salazar would then grow close...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...only for her to realize he's actually her brother, Daizou, who lost his memory during the war. So they don't end up together.

Andersen: (Hmm, so she threw in elements of General Kaoru and Ukifune too. I knew she was greedier than she looked.)

Ryouma: Hey, how 'bout that. Guess my idea wasn't so far from yours, after all.

Murasaki Shikibu: I was actually originally planning to have Lord Izo play Salazar as well.

Ryouma: Yeah... You made the right call, swapping him out for Bartholomew.

Jeanne Alter: So who were you planning on having Gabriela end up with, anyway? I at least gotta know that, or it's gonna bug the shit out of me.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm so sorry to disappoint you, but, well...Gabriela doesn't end up with anyone.

Jeanne Alter: Huh?

Murasaki Shikibu: Miguel and Gabriela only appeared to be married. In truth, Gabriela was Miguel's adopted daughter.

Jeanne Alter: Then why bother making their relationship so goddamn complicated!?

Murasaki Shikibu: Because men approach an adoptive daughter differently than they do a widow...

Salieri: I see. So he actually pretended to marry his adopted daughter out of concern for her well-being.

Salieri: It would take nerves of steel to try and woo the widow of the nation's founding president, after all.

Murasaki Shikibu: So the rest of the story involved the different male characters approaching Gabriela, each with different motives.

Murasaki Shikibu: For her part, she keeps trying to ascertain how much these men genuinely care for her...

Murasaki Shikibu: ...but at one point, she realizes Miguel was the only one who loved her unconditionally.

Moriarty: Ahh, so that's why you gave Hokusai those instructions while she was painting our portrait.

Moriarty: If that's the sort of conclusion you had in mind, it makes perfect sense that you would want the portrait to make us seem like father and daughter instead of husband and wife.

Mash: That story sounds like it would have made for a lovely movie...

Mash: Maybe if we started now, and really hurried, we could still film it...?

Dr. Roman: Sorry, no can do, Mash. More than half of your set is going to fall apart in about three hours.

Dr. Roman: We have a little more time until the Singularity disappears, but that's still not enough to shoot that many scenes.

Dr. Roman: Honestly, the only one who still needs to be there for now is Fujimaru. The rest of you can come back if you like.

Dr. Roman: Da Vinci's editing the film as we speak. All that's left now is to play it once it's done, and collect the magical energy.

Mash: ...Um, Doctor?

Mash: What if we just reshot the ending? Would that be okay?

Mash: If there's a better ending to be had...I know I would like to see it. We all would.

Dr. Roman: ...

Murasaki Shikibu: It's all right, Lady Mash. Please, just forget about my plot.

Murasaki Shikibu: I'm overjoyed to know that you all worked together to finish the film even without me. I truly am.

Murasaki Shikibu: Back when I was alive...I never would have had the chance to collaborate with so many people like this.

Murasaki Shikibu: Now, I'll finally get to see the fruits of such a labor for myself.

Mash: But...

Andersen: Murasaki herself is saying she's fine with it. If you have any regrets, you can make up for them in another movie.

Andersen: We writers can't help but write, after all. In that sense, Murasaki is an unstoppable juggernaut!

Dr. Roman: I'm sorry. I know I just said most of you could come back now, but on second thought, would you mind staying there a little longer?

Dr. Roman: I want to take just a little more time getting the Rayshift ready. Don't worry, I won't be too long.

Dr. Roman: There's a party hall on set, right? Why don't you hang out there and chat amongst yourselves?

Mash: Senpai... Are we sure this is what we want to do?

Fujimaru 1: Mash?

Mash: I'm very happy with the ending we all chose to go with. I have no issue with that.

Mash: But now that I know what sort of ending Murasaki had in mind all along, I can't help but feel...dissatisfied.

Mash: If it's at all possible, I'd really like to shoot an ending that Murasaki would be happy with.

Mash: Though, of course...that would also mean giving up on the version everyone worked so hard to come up with...

Mash: It feels like, if we go with the ending Murasaki wants, it would invalidate everything we worked to accomplish...

Mash: I don't want to think that all our effort was wasted just because we didn't end the film correctly...

Mash: ...I know this is a lot to ask, since the film can only have one ending...

Mash: ...but is there anything we can do that would make everyone happy?

Moriarty: Well now, this is a surprise. Is there something secret you wished to discuss with me, Doctor?

Dr. Roman: There sure is, General Cortés. I suppose it would be best described as a get rich quick scheme?

Dr. Roman: We've already collected the Singularity's magical energy...but I feel like we can do better.

Dr. Roman: See, the movie's just about done, but that Singularity is obviously still there.

Dr. Roman: So I figure there must still be a little something left for us to acquire.

Dr. Roman: This Singularity was born from a movie director's lingering regrets, so it only stands to reason that he wouldn't be truly satisfied with anything less than a best picture award, right?

Moriarty: Indeed. I can't see your face well over the transmission, but you seem to be quite the villain yourself.

Moriarty: So, what exactly did you have in mind for me, Doctor?

Dr. Roman: You were one of the models for that portrait, so I know you knew how this movie was supposed to go from the beginning.

Dr. Roman: So I wanted to run this suggestion...this idea I had past you.

Dr. Roman: Would you be willing to hear me out? But I suppose me trying to give you an evil scheme is like teaching a fish to swim, isn't it?

Moriarty: Hmm... I suppose everything that's happened in the story thus far would be the mystery act.

Moriarty: And much as I loathe to agree with anything that detective says, you can't have a mystery story without someone suspecting something is amiss...

Moriarty: As such, I had resolved to hold my tongue until the rest of you began to suspect... But it seems I need not hold it any longer.

Moriarty: There is but one puzzle left to resolve in this story:

Moriarty: How can we go about allaying Mash's concerns?

Moriarty: No matter how many ideas one may have, a story can only have one conclusion. There is no getting around that.

Moriarty: But what if there were a way to integrate both Murasaki's wishes and everyone's hard work without diminishing either?

Moriarty: Naturally, as the good doctor said, we may not be able to reshoot any vital scenes...

Moriarty: ...but that does not mean our hands are completely tied.

Moriarty: Of course, you won't have to wait long for the denouement to start and see what I mean...but you may just find it interesting to try coming up with the answer for yourself.

Section 16: Return of the Murder at the Meihousou

Moriarty: Pardon me, Mash and Master...

Moriarty: ...but I have a proposal that may just put your concerns to rest.

Mash: Really? You have an idea?

Moriarty: Yes, but I can't take all the credit for it. This one was more of a...collaborative effort.

Moriarty: I won't say it's the best of all worlds, but I do think it will let us avoid the worst possible scenario.

Moriarty: All you need to do is make me the lead actor!

Fujimaru 1: S-say what!?

Moriarty: I'm sure Holmes would be none too pleased about this, so let me be perfectly clear up front.

Moriarty: What I propose is not born from a desire to play the lead...

Moriarty: ...nor am I proposing it as an attempt to improve my image.

Moriarty: I merely believe that making me the lead actor will neatly resolve the problem currently eating away at you.

Ozymandias: Oho. So you are saying we should make Miguel Ángel Cortés the main character?

Moriarty: Naturally.

Jeanne Alter: Fat chance, asshole. We spent the whole movie building you up as an irredeemably evil prick.

Jeanne Alter: We don't have anywhere near the time we'd need for the reshoots to fix that.

Moriarty: I disagree with that assertion, but fortunately, it doesn't matter regardless.

Moriarty: For you see...we already have all the footage we need!

Moriarty: Ah, forgive me, that isn't quite right. What I should have said is, we already have ALMOST all the footage we need.

Ryouma: What are you talking about, Professor? I have no idea where you're going with this...

Moriarty: While we may be missing a few of the performers now, I still recall shooting some video along these lines:

Moriarty: ...So you see, by inserting footage we shot for the documentary into certain key scenes...

Moriarty: ...we can dramatically change how Miguel is perceived.

Tristan: This is amazing...

Tristan: Your idea to use aspects from outside the movie is the same as mine...but this is on an entirely different scale.

Mash: Then...does this mean everything we've shot up till now is fair game?

Moriarty: Yes, I suppose it does.

Moriarty: For example, when Murasaki Shikibu suddenly collapsed, you were all genuinely concerned for her well-being, no?

Mash: Yes, of course!

Moriarty: Then we can rework that footage into a scene that has you all concerned for Gabriela.

Ryouma: So we'll be looking for usable bits and pieces of footage wherever we can find them, huh. It won't be easy, but if we can pull it off, it ought to be well worth it.

Dr. Roman: Hmm, I see. That's definitely a good idea. All right, you have permission to shoot any additional scenes you need.

Dr. Roman: But remember, once time is up, you all need to come back immediately. It isn't much, but try to do the best you can with what time you have left.

Mash: Understood, Dr. Roman! We'll take advantage of every second we have!

Mash: Right, Murasaki?

Murasaki Shikibu: This thread of spider's silk has given me a ray of hope... If it's all right with you, I promise I won't let this chance go to waste!

Mash: Okay, so if we're going to use Moriarty's idea...

Murasaki Shikibu: We'll need to have Gabriela become despondent with life, only to finally realize how much her adoptive father truly loved her...right?

Mash: Right!

Jeanne Alter: Got it. So Gabriela takes the poison 'cause she feels like she has nothing left to live for, and everyone else goes nuts trying to help, huh?

Ozymandias: Of course, I still end up losing my life in the process...but I suppose we have no choice but to make it fit somehow.

Arash: You got it!

Arash: Hey, we made it this far flying by the seat of our pants. What's one more go before we pack it in!

Moriarty: Though it may still differ from the original plot in certain ways, this should ensure the movie remains Miguel and Gabriela's story.

Moriarty: Of course, since Gabriela has such little screen time, it will inevitably end up being more of Miguel's movie...

Moriarty: ...but I hope you can overlook that on account of how devastatingly dapper I am.

Jeanne Alter: Yeah. Keep telling yourself that.

Holmes: I see. So this was your goal all along.

Holmes: By unveiling your idea when all other options have been exhausted, you gain the lead role with a minimum of effort.

Holmes: Good grief. You never change, do you, Professor?

Moriarty: Must you insist on always painting me in the worst possible light?

Moriarty: For your information, it was purely by chance that I realized my conduct thus far could be used in the movie.

Moriarty: Besides, you know very well that I am not a man given to operating out in the open like this.

Holmes: ...Well, I suppose it's not every day that a would-be artist gets the chance to help others so directly.

Holmes: Very well then, as they say in the entertainment business: break a leg.

Moriarty: My thanks. I just hope I can avoid breaking my back while I'm at it.

Moriarty: Now then... Shall we, Master!?

Fujimaru 1: We shall!

Section 17: Murder at the Meihousou (Middle, Ending)

Elise: So how is she?

Roma: Her life's not in any danger. But I have no idea when she might wake up.

Elise: You the one who prepared our drinks?

Salazar: I was not. While I did serve the drinks...I didn't have time to add anything to them even had I wished to.

Adriana: Wait. Assuming I'm remembering correctly...

Adriana: I think I saw her taking what looked like some sort of medicine before she entered the ballroom.

Antonio: Oh? So you say the host of the party poisoned herself of her own accord? Why would she do such a thing?

García: That's weird. She's been running the whole show up till now. I don't see any reason why she'd want to ruin it herself.

Adriana: I don't know what she took or why, but if nothing else...I think this absolves Salazar.

Elise: ...Maybe she'd just lost all hope, and figured there was nothing left for her to live for.

Roma: If you are correct, then there's nothing we can do.

Roma: As long as she feels that way, she'll likely just try again after she wakes up.

Vargas: Well, what if we dealt with whatever is causing her despair? Of course, we'd need to discover what that is first.

Isidoro: In order to do that, we would need to find out exactly why she lost hope and why she wanted to end it all.

Elise: I think I might know.

Antonio: Oh?

Elise: Her whole life was bought and sold when she was just a little girl.

Elise: Even if she does get to inherit the old geezer's legacy now that he's dead, there's no way it could fill the hole an experience like that must have left in her heart.

Elise: I probably would've chosen death if I were in her place too.

Vargas: Then it's settled. I'll search the mansion and see if I can find any clues.

Salazar: I would be happy to check the storehouse myself.

Vargas: No, we should go together, just to be safe. No one should go anywhere alone.

Salazar: ...I see. All right, if you insist.

Vargas: Don't misunderstand. This isn't because I suspect you. It's simply better for both of us to have a witness present.

Salazar: True, if we go together, and anything happens to one of us, the other will come under suspicion...

Salazar: I apologize for my rudeness. All right, let's be on our way.

García: Be careful out there, you two. There's no telling what you might run into.

Adriana: Did anyone else just hear that?

Elise: Then it wasn't just me?

García: Did something happen to him?

Roma: I know all too well how you feel. Just to be safe, let's lock this room and all go check on them ourselves.

García: Vargas... This can't be happening!

Roma: They're both dead. It looks like they killed each other.

Elise: Which one of them attacked first?

García: Vargas would never ambush anyone!

Roma: It looks like you're right. Vargas bled out from a wound on his back. Salazar must have attacked him from behind.

Antonio: He probably meant to kill Vargas with one strike and hide the body somewhere.

Antonio: But he obviously failed, leaving Vargas with just enough strength to strike back...

García: Nobody could have taken Vargas down in a fair fight, not even if it was three against one.

García: Salazar must've already known that after the explosion, he wouldn't be able to talk his way out...

Adriana: It looks like they knocked over a bottle of volatile chemicals during their fight. That was almost certainly the cause of the explosion we heard.

Elise: Salazar must've already known he couldn't talk his way out of it...

Elise: We could've interrogated them and gotten to the bottom of this a lot faster if just one of them had survived.

Isidoro: ...

Elise: What's wrong, detective? You haven't said a word.

Adriana: M-Mr. Poggioli is also known as “Isidoro the Sleeper,” because he always gets very quiet whenever he's considering evidence.

Isidoro: ...It's true. Even as we speak, my mind is evaluating all the possibilities at a dizzying pace.

Elise: Didn't you say you were known as “Isidoro the Reaper” before?

Isidoro: ...Hypnos and Thanatos are said to be brothers. Thus, my Sleeper and Reaper personas are two sides of the same coin.

Elise: Ugh, whatever. Just stop bragging and tell us what you figured out already.

Isidoro: I can't. Not when the culprit is listening.

Roma: Oh? Then you're saying one of us is the culprit?

Isidoro: I will leave that to your imagination. For now, all I can say is this:

Isidoro: There is no case so inscrutable that I, Isidoro Poggioli, cannot solve it. You may sit back and rest assured that I have matters well in hand.

Elise: ...Where IS everyone? It's been over two hours since they left.

Antonio: Either they ran into some sort of trouble, or they found something promising.

Antonio: All we can do is hope it's the latter.

Antonio: Still, given that they're working together, they should be ok as long as nothing too dire befalls them.

Elise: ...Salazar worked for Miguel, right, Uncle? But now that Miguel is dead...

Elise: ...what kind of hold could he still have on Salazar that would make him willing to risk his life?

Antonio: True, if Miguel was controlling Salazar with fear, there would be no further need for Salazar to be afraid.

Elise: And it's not like he had any family for Miguel to threaten, since he didn't even know who he was.

Antonio: Do you think you could risk your life for someone who's already dead, Elise?

Elise: No way. I can't even imagine risking my life for someone who's still alive.

Antonio: Indeed, that is how most people seem to feel. I am certainly no exception.

Antonio: Hmm... Perhaps Salazar's willingness to do so is proof of a more genuine loyalty?

Salazar: Master... I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for giving me a new role to play when I had nothing to look forward to but disappearing.

Salazar: I'm so sorry my leaving you like this will only make things harder for you.

Salazar: Forgive me for leaving in the middle of all this.

Antonio: It flies in the face of the theory we've been working under thus far, but perhaps Miguel was actually a kind and virtuous man. The kind who inspired loyalty out of love, not fear.

Antonio: Of course, now that Salazar is gone, we have no way of knowing for sure.

Elise: 'Bout time you guys got back. ...Wait, where's García?

Adriana: García ran off on his own. He was going on about something he had to go check.

Adriana: We have no idea where he could be right now...

Isidoro: That said, every other survivor is here in this room. Assuming there is no one else hiding out here, I expect he should be fine.

Roma: What's more...we learned a few very interesting things.

Roma: First off, we found documentation that shows Gabriela is Daizou's younger sister.

Elise: You don't say...

Roma: Of course, I expected that was the case, so on its own, that wasn't any great surprise.

Roma: But...what if it turned out that Miguel was actually trying to improve not his own life, but everyone else's?

Roma: Would that be surprising?

Elise: The hell're you talking about? Miguel was the living embodiment of ambition and greed!

Adriana: ...We found a report on the state of Nadai Nadha prior to the revolution.

Isidoro: It painted a bleak picture of Nadai Nadha's future prospects... That is to say...it had none at all.

Elise: What? That can't be right...

Isidoro: There is no question that the first president only aided the revolution because he knew the cost of failing to do so would be the nation itself.

Elise: Then, what? You're saying Miguel's coup turned out to be the right move in the end?

Roma: Sure looks that way. So now, I have to reexamine everything I thought to be true...

Roma: ...and determine if Miguel Ángel Cortés really was the evil man I thought him to be...

Miguel: Well, General Tan, can I convince you to surrender peacefully? At our age, surely you wish to avoid needless injury just as much as I do.

Ryu: I have no intention of refusing to acknowledge reality, but I also know that your army was quite determined to take advantage of the situation.

Ryu: So I thought you could at least serve as a scarecrow of sorts, and draw the rebels' attention away.

Ryu: Then, while your forces and theirs stared each other down, my soldiers could strike at them from behind.

Miguel: A clever plan, General Tan. Just what I would expect from you. That sort of clever thinking is exactly why I had to stay one step ahead of you.

Ryu: Well, you succeeded. I never dreamed you would come to kill me in my sleep. Now my army is destroyed thanks to your ambush.

Ryu: But what will you do now? I can't imagine you think you'll hold back the rebel army with your forces alone.

Miguel: That's your problem right there, General Tan. You're too earnest for your own good. As a matter of fact, I've already reached an understanding with the rebels.

Miguel: Once they have conquered the palace, I'm to be the new government's representative. They have no more desire for senseless bloodshed than I do, after all.

Ryu: ...You contemptible wretch. Even I couldn't have imagined you would be so self-serving.

Miguel: Please don't think too poorly of me, General Tan. If anyone here is to blame, I would say it's you.

Ryu: So that is all there is for me to do here... Everything ended so abruptly.

Miguel: And here I thought you would give up on this before I did. It seems I'm less patient than I thought.

Ryu: I am happy to help in any manner my lord wishes, no matter how difficult that task may be.

Miguel: I see. I almost envy your steadfastness.

Roma: ...General Tan was loyal to a fault.

Roma: If he truly wanted what was best for Nadai Nadha, he should have been the one to initiate the coup.

Elise: So what? You're saying the geezer only betrayed the royal family because Nadai Nadha was on the brink?

Antonio: ...The royal family at the time was indeed rotten to the core. I can attest to that myself.

Antonio: Even if Miguel hadn't betrayed them, they would certainly have fallen to ruin if left to their own devices.

Roma: I'm not trying to carry water for him, but the revolutionary army was really an army in name only.

Roma: If General Tan had succeeded in flanking them that night, we would've lost for sure.

Roma: After that, I've no doubt the ones who survived would've turned to guerilla warfare.

Isidoro: And that would have led to the country getting bogged down in interminable civil war...which would only have impoverished Nadai Nadha even further.

Elise: If that had happened, I'd probably never have been able to become a singer...

Antonio: It's difficult to believe...but the logic is sound.

Antonio: So if Miguel foresaw all this when he took over the nation, that would make him a hero, would it not?

Antonio: If that was the only way he could do something good for the world...

Roma: I also came across something of personal interest to me.

Elise: What is it?

Roma: The record of Daizou's death. He died that night, just as I'd always suspected.

Roma: He and General Tan ended up killing each other...sort of.

Roma: According to the report, what happened was...

Daizou: Besides, you're only just now mentioning that this is all you have for me. You trying to pull a fast one on me?

Ryu: ...Good grief.

Ryu: It seems we have an overexcited puppy here who still needs to be housebroken.

Daizou: Ha! Bring it, old man! I was just thinking I could use a decent workout!

Ryu: Hrn.

Daizou: Aaaaah!

Miguel: Well done. I must say, for a moment there, I wasn't at all sure how things would play out.

Miguel: Oh my, you're bleeding...

Ryu: ...Hehe.

Miguel: I'm so sorry we've foisted this thankless role upon you.

Ryu: No need for apologies. We cannot say for sure whose role is thankless until all is said and done.

Ryu: ...Now then, my time here is over. I wish you well with what is yet to come in this endeavor.

Roma: ...I can't excuse what General Tan did, but I can understand why he did it. Daizou would never have been able to adjust to this new, more peaceful world.

Roma: I think General Tan felt a responsibility to make sure Daizou would never cause any further trouble.

Roma: As for Miguel, he knew Daizou would be leaving behind a little sister...

Gabriela: Now where was it I first met him again...?

Gabriela: Ah, yes. It was the town library... I was waiting there to meet my brother.

C:Gabriela: ...I'll wait here until he comes back.

Miguel: I'm sorry, my girl, but you would be wasting your time. You'll feel better if you resign yourself to never seeing him again.

C:Gabriela: Really? Then...what should I do?

Miguel: Well, I would hate to see a child cry.

Miguel: All right, I tell you what. I'll give you anything else your heart desires instead!

Gabriela: That's right... He was always so kind, right from the beginning. He didn't breathe a word about my brother's death...

Gabriela: He just bought me all sorts of things to help cheer me up since I was all alone.

Roma: He felt responsible for Daizou's death as well. That's why he took Gabriela in.

Roma: Of course, to those of us looking in from the outside, it just seemed like he did that to satisfy his own desires... If nothing else, he was a master of hiding how he really felt.

Elise: Well I don't like it. From where I sit, she just up and disappeared on me out of nowhere.

Elise: But, at least I know she was treated well now. That's a huge relief...

García: Hey, check this out.

Roma: ...A letter? Where did you get this?

García: I've been doing my best to figure out why Salazar attacked Vargas like that...

García: ...and I think it's probably 'cause there was something important in there.

García: Vargas just happened to go near it, and Salazar must've thought he was trying to steal it...

García: So if that's what happened, I thought I'd be able to find whatever it was near where they fought.

García: And I did. There was a small safe hidden around there.

García: Luckily, it was easy enough to break the lock.

Antonio: So that's where this letter came from. Does this mean Salazar threw away his life for nothing?

García: Thing is, the letter's from Miguel Ángel Cortés...and it's addressed to Gabriela.

Elise: Then...does that mean it holds Gabriela's secrets?

Roma: Gabriela should be the one to read this, but since she's currently indisposed, and this is an emergency...

Miguel: My beloved daughter, Gabriela. By the time you read this, I'm afraid I will no longer be with you.

Miguel: I have instructed Salazar to give you this letter when the time is right. Perhaps you'll read this three years from now... Ten years from now... Or maybe you never will.

Miguel: But that's all right. Writing this letter is something of a selfish exercise, in truth.

Miguel: More than anything in the world, I loathe hypocrisy.

Miguel: Playing up one's own goodness despite having accomplished nothing of value... That is the very height of self-indulgence.

Miguel: In that sense, my good deeds to date have been purely practical.

Miguel: I believe in doing the good deeds you wish to do, regardless of whether others understand your reasons or what they may whisper when your back is turned.

Miguel: Some good deeds cannot be accomplished with clean hands, and I've never been one to hesitate to roll up my sleeves.

Miguel: But I'm afraid my bad deeds have caught up to me. I cannot long continue as I am now.

Miguel: My enemies are now so numerous I can no longer keep track, and it would come as no great shock were I to be assassinated sooner or later.

Miguel: Even the police are constantly looking for an excuse to throw me in jail.

Miguel: Of course, I'm delighted to see them so eager for justice, even if I am the one who ensured this country would drive them to do so at my expense.

Miguel: And above all, I'm concerned that the dirtier my hands get, the harder it becomes to hear my conscience.

Miguel: I've never told anyone else this before, but in truth I am a much more innocent man than I pretend.

Miguel: That's why I'm going to end my own life before I can become a genuine monster...

Miguel: Salazar will be able to handle the rest. And if any further problems should arise, the Closers should take care of them.

Miguel: Now, here is the important part. A few days after my funeral, evidence of wrongdoing committed by certain high-ranking government officials should be delivered around the country.

Miguel: Far too much for them to cover it all up.

Miguel: No doubt these revelations will create something of a crisis but things should settle down soon enough.

Miguel: Until they do, I would like you to lay low in the Meihousou.

Miguel: Finally, I need to tell you about my legacy...

Miguel: Given that I used it primarily to level the forthcoming charges on my opponents, most of it will cease to be useful for blackmail after I'm gone.

Miguel: However, some of it will still retain its usefulness. As such, I hope you will think of something you'd like to use my legacy for yourself.

Miguel: In the meantime, I've invited a number of good people to stay by your side.

Miguel: If you happen to find love with one of them, wonderful. If you find friendship with them, that would be wonderful too.

Miguel: Whatever happens, I am filled with hope and love for you and your future.

Roma: Your loving father, Miguel Ángel Cortés

Roma: Now I see. So you two were the Closers.

Isidoro: Now that I've been presented with incontrovertible evidence, it seems I have no choice but to come clean.

Isidoro: Indeed, our job was not to uncover the truth, but to see that trouble was handled quickly and quietly.

Adriana: We do still need to figure out a good way to explain Vargas and Salazar's deaths...

Adriana: ...but since Gabriela survived, that shouldn't be too hard.

Isidoro: Perhaps we'll call this case “A Meihousou Most Foul.”

Adriana: That's much easier than the job we were hired for.

Isidoro: Adriana! What did I say about silence being golden?

Elise: God, can you believe these idiots? A couple of them even died for no damn good reason...

Elise: But that doesn't mean you have to be party to their idiocy, Gabriela!

Elise: So come on, wake up already. Please...

Roma: Gabriela?

Gabriela: ...

Roma: Um, this might be a lot to take in after just waking up, but, the truth is–

Gabriela: It's all right... I overheard everything.

Gabriela: Thank you for worrying about me, Lizzie.

Elise: !!!

Elise: ...Ugh, you could've just called me that from the start and saved us both a lot of time!

Antonio: Heh. As usual, you're a far cry from being a proper lady, Elise...but right now, I'm glad for that foul mouth of yours.

Roma: Well, you're free to do whatever you like now, Gabriela.

Roma: Have you decided what you're going to do now that the world is your oyster?

Gabriela: I'm sad to hear that Vargas and Salazar had a fatal misunderstanding...

Gabriela: ...but I look forward to getting to know all of you better, as the friends my father so kindly chose.

Roma: That sounds like a great plan to me.

Roma: I think Daizou would've been happy to hear that too.

Isidoro: I'm sorry to be a downer, but have you all forgotten what the letter said?

Isidoro: The scandal time bomb President Cortés planted is bound to go off soon.

Isidoro: There is every possibility that some disgruntled dissidents could try to attack the Meihousou when all this goes public.

Isidoro: So I think I'll stay here a little longer, to make sure Gabriela remains safe from any potential hooligans.

Adriana: It's also part of the job Miguel entrusted to us.

García: ...Well, guess my hands are tied then.

García: Vargas always hated being left alone, so I'd better stay here a little longer.

Elise: I-I'm staying too.

Elise: There's no telling who might come after someone as famous as me if I just gamboled around without a care in the world... Right, Uncle?

Antonio: I quite agree. I was just thinking I could use a change of environment for writing my next song.

Roma: Then I think I'll stick around a little longer too.

Elise: Aren't you married? Shouldn't you get back home soon?

Roma: Ah, my wife's much stronger than I am. She'll be fine on her own for a while.

Gabriela: (I thought I was all alone...)

Gabriela: (...but I see now that all these people really do care about me.)

Gabriela: (What's more...I finally realized that he always had my best interests in mind.)

Gabriela: (...Thank you, Father...)

???: I was worried what might happen to this country after all those government officials were arrested for corruption...

???: ...but luckily, it ended up just clearing the air. Thanks to that, it's a lot easier to do business now.

???: My family used to have to pay through the nose just to keep those guys off our backs. I'm glad they're in prison now.

???: Things looked pretty dicey back when the royal family was deposed too, but Nadai Nadha's made of tough stuff.

???: Whoa, you're really good, pal. Play us a song, will ya?

???: Forget it. Compliments in a dive like this don't mean jack shit.

???: What was that!?

???: Easy man, calm down. What're you talkin' about, pal?

???: There's a salon in a huge mansion called the Meihousou somewhere in the country that's run by a beautiful proprietress.

???: They say if you can prove yourself there, they'll invest in your career.

???: And if you do really good...Jobim might even give you one of his songs.

???: So it's my dream to become a good enough musician to be invited to the Meihousou some day.

???: Ah, just forget about it. There's no way that place really exists.

???: You're better off working a real job, like us.

???: Bartender, another round.

Bartender: Well now, that sounds fascinating.

???: If only more people agreed with you, bartender.

Bartender: Tell me all about it, and the next round's on me.

???: Oh, you got a deal, pal. All right, so the Meihousou's home to a beautiful proprietress, a singer, and...

Moriarty: All right...I believe that's a wrap. And with just a few minutes to go before the Singularity disappears.

Moriarty: Tell me, Doctor, what did you think of “A Meihousou Most Foul”? Are you satisfied with the final cut?

Dr. Roman: Absolutely. This was the best thing I've watched in a good while.

Dr. Roman: There might be a few plot holes here and there, but otherwise, I'd never have believed you guys improvised the whole thing.

Dr. Roman: Thanks for the great movie, General Cortés. All that's left now is to end this call.

Dr. Roman: Then our deal will be over, and Fujimaru can take over to finish the job.

Moriarty: Oh? What about Mash and Murasaki? Don't you need to see if they're satisfied with the results as well?

Moriarty: And don't you need to see if the rest of the cast are happy with their performances? I believe that was part of the reward you had in mind, no?

Dr. Roman: Hahaha, I don't need to ask them about that! It was perfectly clear even from this side of the camera!

Dr. Roman: That said, there is one thing still nagging at me. You know what I'm talking about, right, General Cortés?

Dr. Roman: I do know the other Servants, but I don't think I know anything at all about you.

Dr. Roman: I can't help but think that's a little odd and even unfair.

Moriarty: Unfair!? Don't be ridiculous! After all...

Moriarty: ...I know nothing about you, either! We don't even know each other's names!

Moriarty: But so what? That little conundrum may be quite inconsequential, but it's also quite wonderful.

Moriarty: Besides, where other than the world of cinema can chance encounters like this occur?

Moriarty: For a brief hour or two, characters that would usually never share the same space get to play off one another...

Moriarty: Movies are nothing if not entertainment, so they are the perfect place for these sorts of fantastical crossovers.

Dr. Roman: Yeah...

Dr. Roman: That is a very...romantic way to think about it.