Legend of the Golden Witch

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Legend of the Golden Witch
Umineko ep1.jpg
Developer07th Expansion
Publisher07th Expansion
Arc TypeQuestion
ReleasedAugust 17, 2007 (C72)
Word Count143,481 (~478 pages)
Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chronology
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Turn of the Golden Witch

Legend of the Golden Witch is the first arc in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. It follows Battler Ushiromiya as he returns to the Ushiromiya family's annual conference for the first time in six years.

Introduction

Plot

Kinzo Ushiromiya, the aged head of the Ushiromiya family, is suffering the effects of old age alongside heavy alcoholism. He has been repeatedly diagnosed by Doctor Nanjo, his personal physician and close friend, to only have three months to live. Despite this, Kinzo has survived for over a year since the initial diagnosis. Kinzo claims that he only continues to survive because he desires to see the smile of his one true love, Beatrice, once more.

The rest of the Ushiromiya family is en route to the annual family conference; Eva, Hideyoshi, George, Rudolf, Kyrie, Rosa, and Maria Ushiromiya all meet at an airport in order to make the flight to Niijima. In addition, Battler Ushiromiya meets at the airport to attend his first family conference in six years. After catching up, the family departs for Niijima. Upon arrival, the family boards a small ship that takes them to the conference area proper: Kinzo's private island, Rokkenjima.

The family convenes with the other family members already on the island: Krauss, Natsuhi, and Jessica Ushiromiya. They also meet the many servants working on the island that day: Gohda, Kanon, Shannon, Genji, and Kumasawa. After tea and lunch, the younger members of the family move to the guest house to play and talk amongst each other. The adults remain in the main building in order to discuss the issue of Kinzo's inheritance. Under the guise of being worried about Kinzo's health, the greedy adults bicker with each other over how to divide the inheritance after Kinzo dies. The conversation turns into accusations of embezzlement directed towards the eldest son, Krauss. As the argument gets increasingly heated, Krauss's wife Natsuhi flees the room. The siblings continue to argue, throwing various accusations back and forth for some time. As Krauss regains control of the situation, he suggests that the siblings take a break of their arguments by trying their hand at solving the witch's epitaph, a riddle inscribed beneath a large portrait of Beatrice.

Meanwhile, Maria reveals to Jessica, George, Battler, and Shannon that she had copied the witch's epitaph into her notebook. Maria persuades the group to attempt to solve the epitaph while they relax on the beach. The group manages to make some progress by deducing that the epitaph's first few lines refer to various places surrounding Odawara, however their conversation veers towards the existence of magic. When Battler and Jessica begin to deny the existence of witches, Maria becomes increasingly upset, forcing George to intervene. After Maria is calmed, she offers Battler and Jessica scorpion charms which she claims will help ward off any malevolent magic. Before the group can return to solving the epitaph, a storm begins to set on the island and the group retreat towards the guest house.

As the storm reaches Rokkenjima, Kinzo proclaims that Beatrice is on her way. As an offering to her, he removes his ring symbolizing his role as head of the family and throws it out of his window. Meanwhile, Kanon retrieves the cousins from the guest house for dinner in the main building. Despite Kinzo's absence, the family begrudgingly eats their dinner. When they are finished, Maria procures a letter that she claims she was given by the witch Beatrice. Its authenticity is seemingly proven by a wax stamp that was created by Kinzo's ring. Despite this, the family is adamant that Beatrice doesn't exist and, in actuality, someone at the table had given Maria the letter and they begin to heatedly argue with each other.

Some time later, Rudolf approaches Kyrie and Battler and claims that it is likely that he will be killed that night. Meanwhile, Krauss shows Natsuhi a gold ingot that he once found that he keeps hidden away, supposedly proving the existence of both the gold that Beatrice gave Kinzo decades ago as well as the existence of Beatrice herself. This leads to an argument between the two and Natsuhi leaves in tears. Jessica later approaches Natsuhi and shares a brief moment of intimate affection with her. This moment ends with Jessica giving Natsuhi the scorpion charm that Maria had given her earlier. In the rose garden, George proposes to Shannon. George claims he will surmise Shannon's answer to his proposal by which finger she wears the ring on the following day.

The next morning, Gohda, Rosa, and Shannon are nowhere to be found. After some searching, Kanon, Genji, Eva, and Hideyoshi discover a strange symbol written in blood on the door of the storehouse. After opening the door, they find the corpses of Krauss, Rudolf, Kyrie, Shannon, Gohda, and Rosa. Rudolf, Kyrie, Rosa, and Gohda have had their faces destroyed and are recognizable only due to their clothing. Krauss and Shannon, on the other hand, have only half their faces destroyed and are still somewhat recognizable by what remains. Furthermore, Kinzo is missing from his room.

In order to avoid further tragedy, the survivors hole up in the parlor while attempting to figure out who could have killed the six people in the storehouse. Two theories are prevalent among the survivors; either one or more of the survivors themselves committed the murders or a nineteenth person exists on the island, separate from the survivors, and committed the murders. While Natsuhi believes this nineteenth person is a human, Maria as well as the servants believe that the nineteenth person is in fact the witch Beatrice. Eva reveals that she placed a receipt in Kinzo's door shortly after Natsuhi most recently checked on him. Since the receipt is still in place, Eva implies that Natsuhi was involved in Kinzo's disappearance. This accusation causes another heated argument between the survivors, leading Eva and Hideyoshi to leave the group and isolate themselves in their room.

Later that night, Natsuhi asks Genji and Kanon to retrieve Eva and Hideyoshi for dinner. When they approach Eva and Hideyoshi's door, however, they find another envelope tucked underneath it. Worried, Genji and Kanon return to the kitchen to pair up: Genji pairs with Nanjo and goes to the parlor while Kanon pairs with Kumasawa and fetches a wire cutter to remove the chain locking Eva and Hideyoshi's room. When Kanon and Kumasawa return to the door, they see a demonic symbol painted on the door, one which wasn't present only minutes prior. Kanon breaks the chain as Genji and Nanjo return with everyone else. The crowd floods into the room and sees Eva lying on the bed with a stake sticking out of her forehead. Hideyoshi is found in the shower with a similar stake in his own forehead.

While everyone panickedly tries to figure out how they could have died given their locations relative to the door, a foul stench overwhelms the room. Kanon and Kumasawa leave to find to source of the smell and hear a loud door slam in the boiler room. Kanon runs ahead and encounters a swarm of butterflies, which Kanon believes to be an incarnation of Beatrice. Angered by the deaths, Kanon swings a nearby hatchet at the swarm. Shortly afterward, Kumasawa and the rest enter the boiler room and find Kanon bleeding out on the ground with a stake in his chest. A nearby door leading to the courtyard is ajar. Battler runs through it, hoping to find the killer, however he is unable to find any trace of them. Meanwhile, the group finds the source of the foul smell: Kinzo's burnt body which lie in the incinerator. Despite the severe burns, Kinzo's identity is confirmed due to the sixth toe present on his foot.

After Nanjo confirms Kanon's death, the survivors decide to hide out in Kinzo's study as it is the most secure area in the mansion. The only keys that can open the study are those held by Genji as well as those held by Kinzo himself, which Genji retrieves from Kinzo's burnt body. Furthermore, Maria believes the room is safe due to a pair of scorpions that are inscribed upon the door knobs to the study. These scorpions are the same ones on the charms Maria previously gave Jessica and Battler with the intent of warding off evil.

While inside the study, the group begins to focus on the witch's epitaph, which is inscribed under another, smaller, portrait of Beatrice. When they turn away from the epitaph, they notice another letter placed next to the canned food. Natsuhi points out that, when she went to set down food earlier, Battler, George, and Jessica were already looking at the epitaph and as such were innocent. She then accuses Nanjo, Genji, Kumasawa, and Maria of either working with the culprit or being the culprit themselves. Despite their protests, Natsuhi convinces them to leave the study in order to ensure she can protect Battler, George, and Jessica. Genji hands over both his keys and Kinzo's keys to Natsuhi, ensuring no one can enter the study. Those ejected from the study hole up in the parlor. Shortly thereafter, the phone in Kinzo's study rings. Natsuhi answers and can only hear a very faint sound of a young girl singing. Seeing as the phones are only capable of making internal calls during the storm, Natsuhi figures the call must be coming from the parlor.

Natsuhi, Battler, George, and Jessica slowly make their way to the parlor and discover it is locked. After unlocking the door with Genji's keys, they find Nanjo, Genji, and Kumasawa all pierced with stakes. The rest of the room is covered in blood except for a corner wherein Maria stands, facing the wall, singing. Battler, George, and Jessica attempt to get the truth of what happened from Maria, however they refuse to believe Maria's explanation of it being the work of Beatrice. They then notice that Natsuhi is missing and she has barricaded the door to the parlor from the outside. While they attempt to break open the door, Natsuhi stands before the large portrait of Beatrice, having read a fourth letter inviting her to duel Beatrice once and for all. Battler, George, Jessica, and Maria successfully break down the parlor door and soon after find Natsuhi's body in front of Beatrice's portrait. As far as they can surmise, Natsuhi appears to have shot herself with the gun in her hand. While Battler, George, and Jessica weep over their situation., Beatrice appears before her portrait. Battler takes Natsuhi's rifle and points it at Beatrice. Beatrice and Maria laugh as the clock strikes midnight.

Characters

In Legend of the Golden Witch, the Ushiromiya family is first introduced along with many of their servants.

The Ushiromiya Family

Servants

Witches and Demons

Other

Deaths and Disappearances

All deaths and disappearances are listed only as they are told in Legend of the Golden Witch and apply only for the individual arc, not the overall series.

Deaths

  • Krauss Ushiromiya, shot in the head on October 4, 1986 as part of the first twilight.
  • Rudolf Ushiromiya, shot in the head on October 4, 1986 as part of the first twilight.
  • Kyrie Ushiromiya, shot in the head on October 4, 1986 as part of the first twilight.
  • Rosa Ushiromiya, shot in the head on October 4, 1986 as part of the first twilight.
  • Shannon, shot in the head on October 4, 1986 as part of the first twilight.
  • Toshiro Gohda, shot in the head on October 4, 1986 as part of the first twilight.
  • Eva Ushiromiya, pierced in the head by a stake on October 4, 1986 as part of the second twilight.
  • Hideyoshi Ushiromiya, pierced in the head by a stake on October 4, 1986 as part of the second twilight.
  • Kinzo Ushiromiya, pierced in the head by a stake and incinerated on October 5, 1986 as part of the fourth twilight.
  • Kanon, pierced in the chest by a stake on October 5, 1986 as part of the fifth twilight.
  • Genji Ronue, pierced in the stomach by a stake on October 5, 1986 as part of the sixth twilight.
  • Terumasa Nanjo, pierced in the knee by a stake on October 5, 1986 as part of the seventh twilight.
  • Chiyo Kumasawa, pierced in the leg by a stake on October 5, 1986 as part of the eighth twilight.
  • Natsuhi Ushiromiya, shot on October 5, 1986 as part of the ninth twilight.

Disapperances

  • George Ushiromiya, disappeared on the night of October 5, 1986 as part of the tenth twilight.
  • Jessica Ushiromiya, disappeared on the night of October 5, 1986 as part of the tenth twilight.
  • Maria Ushiromiya, disappeared on the night of October 5, 1986 as part of the tenth twilight.
  • Battler Ushiromiya, disappeared on the night of October 5, 1986 as part of the tenth twilight.

Endroll

The storm passed, and the leaden clouds that enshrouded the island for so long cleared away. From rifts between clouds sun beams shone, and yesterday's storm seemed like a lie. In the harbour, according to someone's wish, the seagulls returned once again and let their lively cries be heard. Afterwards, an inspection of the crime scene was performed by the policemen who came.

The corpses of the children who were thought to have survived until the end were not found after all, but from the pieces of the corpses that were found in that unimaginably gruesome crime scene, the police had no choice but to conclude hopelessly that the lives of all of the eighteen people, including the children, were lost... how gruesome was the feast of the Witch? Thus, how beautiful the Golden Land is, is a tale that can only be told by them... there are no tales to tell to those who came after the feast had ended. They can only imagine what happened during those two days.

However, the Witch was fickle.

She did not bother herself to hide this tale that had no need of telling, and she allowed its transmission.

Then, many years later.

A strange wine bottle that had drifted on the waves to the pier of a neighbouring island was pulled out by a fisherman. Inside it was a thin, tightly rolled notebook fragment, written upon in crammed small letters.

That was... this tale.

People will know for the first time, through this notebook fragment, the enigma of the mystery-enshrouded October the 4th 1986, and the truth of those two days filled with strangeness.

This incident was later called "The Rokkenjima Mass Murder Incident", "The Rokkenjima Eighteen Murders" or such, but connoisseurs of the world came to refer to it as "The Witch's Legend Serial Murders Incident".

People who delved in the occult claimed that it was the aftermath of an corrupt ritual that had sealed the island, and spread the two days filled with mystery embellished and twisted beyond recognition through each and every person's interpretation. However, even with all their interpretations, they will not be the ones to reach the truth of this incident. And even though the notebook fragment in the wine bottle will tell of this incident filled with mystery, it won't be telling it with the truth. That's right, perhaps not even the writer of the notebook knew the truth.. it's possible that she wanted to know the truth.

According to the name written down, her name is Ushiromiya Maria. Furthermore, as the result of an all-out police investigation, concerning Maria, a body part, a piece of her jaw was found. It was a precious instance where they managed to identify the owner of a body part through dentist medical records.

Since in that gruesome situation there were countless body parts whose ownership or even provenance couldn't be determined, it can probably be said that this jaw was an extremely fortunate piece. The police, since the piece of jaw was damaged, and even though no other parts were discovered nor identified, judge it is hopeless to believe any are still alive. And so, let us tie this tale to the last sentence of the notebook fragment that Ushiromiya Maria left.


"By the time you have read this, I will probably be dead. The only difference will be whether there is a body or not. You who have read this. Please find out the truth. That's my only wish."

—— Ushiromiya Maria



-- The truth of "The Witch's Legend Serial Murders Incident" has not been brought to light even today.

Media

Chapters

Volumes

Episodes

See also