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Gosick - Volume 6 - Chapter 6.1

Published at 5th of February 2016 08:25:56 PM

Chapter 6.1

chapter six — I’ll never let go of your hand

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Back at the police station, Julie had finished with her long testimony .

The room fell silent .

Two slender stalks of white smoke wound their way up to the ceiling from the ceramic pipes held in Victorique’s and Inspector de Blois’ hands . No one spoke a word .

Finally, Julie said in a low voice, “I never understood it . I agonized over it . But you, Victorique, dear little detective girl . You understand, don’t you?”

Kazuya looked up at Julie . She was biting her lip, staring straight at Victorique . Then he glanced at Victorique . It looked like she had completed her reconstruction of chaos, and was pondering how to articulate it .

Inspector de Blois, on the other hand, had apparently reached the limits of his brain capacity, and was gazing idly at some sparrows flying outside the window . The pointed tip of his spiraled blond hair gleamed golden in the pale morning light . He took the pipe from his mouth and started absentmindedly flicking the strand of white smoke to and fro, as if his mind had flown far away .

Victorique parted her lips and began to speak in slow, deliberate tones . “It was likely meant to be an act of divination performed on a massive scale . ”

“…Divination?!” cried out Julie . She shook her head . “But so many people died . And the ship sank . What on earth do you mean? What were they trying to divine? How? It must have cost a fortune to do something like that . ”

“Kujou, I believe I’ve explained this to you before . ”

Finding himself suddenly called upon, Kazuya jumped up in his seat . “Wh-what?”

“About ancient fortune-telling . The staff divination performed by the prophet Moses . ”

“Oh… I think I remember you telling me something like that . ”

“In order to divine which tribe the next leader of the Israelites would come from, he arranged twelve staffs, each written with the name of one of the tribes . The fate of each staff foretold the fate of that tribe . ”


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“So the fortune-teller Roxane raised hares in her garden . But she sometimes gave them to her hound for hunting . Some hares died, and some survived . The surviving ones were fattened up and carefully tended to . ” Victorique paused .

Julie’s expression was growing steadily darker .

“Roxane was probably using the hares for her fortune-telling . Each one was labeled with the name of a person or thing whose fate it was supposed to represent, and then they were released together with the hound . Whichever hare survived would be a prediction of the future . ”

“Are you saying that we were those hares…?”

Victorique nodded .

“But why? We’re human!”

“I suppose they determined that they would need a prediction of the future on a far greater scale than any fortune-telling they had ever attempted before . …Now, here we have several fragments of chaos to use as our ingredients . The orphans taken from eleven countries around the world . Roxane’s words: ‘A youth will soon die . That shall be the beginning of everything . The world will tumble like a falling stone . ’ And the words of the man who asked, ‘Who are your allies?’ And also what Huey said: ‘What happens here is the future . ’ ‘What’s important is your nationality . ’” Victorique lowered her voice . “And the fact that this happened ten years ago—in the spring of 1914 . ”

“Oh!” Kazuya cried out .

Everyone turned to look at him .

Kazuya stuttered, “Uh, no… Sorry . It’s just that when you mentioned how it happened ten years ago, I remembered that the Sarajevo Incident happened that year in June, and that’s when the Great War started . But I guess it’s just a coincidence . ”

“No, it isn’t . That’s your answer . ”

“What do you mean?!” Julie shouted .

At the end of June in the year 1914, the heir to the Austrian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo . When Austria requested the extradition of the suspects, the Serbian government refused, and other countries pledged their support . Austria, Hungary, and Germany joined forces, and the war began . Italy, America, and other countries also stepped up to fight them, until finally the war had spread over the entire face of the earth… .

Victorique softly continued, “I can only guess at the events that took place . Officials in the government probably sensed a certain portentous mood running through the current of the times, and decided to ask a famous fortune-teller to look into the future . They set up a grand stage—the box known to us as the Queen Berry—filled it with traps, and set loose hares gathered from the corners of the world . They also unleashed an English boy to play the role of hunting dog . In that box, each child shouldered the burden of his own nation’s future . ”

“My God…!”

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“And the divination came true . ” Victorique ran her fingers through her golden hair . “Think back to the time of the Great War . Hey, Kujou, you half-witted savant . ”

“…Don’t call me that!”

“Tell us the result of the war . ”

Unsure of where this was going, Kazuya began haltingly, “The Great War started between the Central Powers and the Allies, and, um, it ended with an Allied victory . The Central Powers consisted of … Germany, Austria, Hungary, also the Ottoman Empire…”

“What countries were on the Allied side, Kujou?”

“Um… France, Italy, England, America, plus Sauvure… . ”

Victorique stared intently at Julie, her eyes completely devoid of expression . Julie was biting her lip tightly, seemingly beset by violently conflicting emotions . “My God…”

“The fortune came true . ”

Julie was silent .

“The children on that ship were divided into two groups: the Central Powers, and the Allies . First, the Hungarian girl died in a trap, and then the Turkish boy was shot to death . And the English boy deceived you all so he could survive . Yes, England played the role of a trickster in the war . The German and Austrian boys both died, and the Chinese boy was also shot and killed . And the Arab girl…”


“The Ottoman Empire was dragged into the war, lost its territory, and was torn apart . ”

Julie wept .

Victorique watched her, a slightly perturbed expression on her face . She took a clearly expensive-looking handkerchief from her pocket, and timidly handed it to Julie .

Julie accepted it, and dabbed at her tears . Victorique’s face took on a faintly relieved look .

Through her sniffles, Julie said, “Then you’re saying … they used our actions as a basis for their political decisions . ”

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“Yes . ” Victorique nodded . “Sauvure participated in the Great War on the side of the Allies . This changed the course of history . I don’t know how much of it was coincidence, and how much was inevitable . Now that Roxane and the others involved are dead, we’ll never know . But it still came true . Of course, I don’t mean in an objective sense, but rather in a subjective one . It is very clear to me that they… the politicians, the elites, and the diplomats, all of them used the result of their grand divination, the ‘running of the hares,’ as a device to shirk responsibility for their actions . ”

Julie raised her head . “How cruel . ”

And then she slowly began to describe what had happened to her next . Unable to recover from the shock, she spent a long time in a sanatorium . Once she’d finally recuperated, she left the hospital and began trying to investigate what had taken place .

After that night on the ship, Julie never got the chance to see the others alive again . One of the surviving children had committed suicide, and another became a murderer and had been executed . She didn’t know if Ree was alive or dead, and could only assume that she had died on board the ship .

But one of the children, Huey, had changed his name to Ned Baxter, and was leading a carefree life . When Julie found a newspaper article about his activities as an actor on the stage, she decided to include him among her targets for revenge .

And now, ten years later…

Julie was wealthy thanks to the command to “fatten the hares . ” She exhausted her resources to construct the replica of the box, the Queen Berry, then sent the invitations .

All of the characters were assembled, save for Roxane, who had already been killed .


Despite the grim nature of the story being told, the atmosphere in the room was remarkably calm and quiet . Perhaps it was because of how silently Julie herself sat in her chair as she spoke .

She looked up at Victorique . “Hey… When did you realize that I was the one behind everything?”

For a moment, Victorique was silent . Then she said, “I confirmed it when you shot Maurice . But I first started suspecting you when we woke up in the lounge . ”

Julie was dumbfounded . “Why?”

“You were right next to the door of the lounge . And when you tried to open the door, you made a big show of rattling the doorknob and announcing that it was locked . But later on when another man tried to open the door, it opened for him effortlessly . And then he was shot by the arrow and killed . ”

“Yes . ”

“That door was never locked in the first place . You only made a fuss about it being locked because you were trying to keep us inside the room . You wanted to rip off the wallpaper and show us that message, so that everyone would know exactly what sort of ritual you were trying to perform . And only afterwards were you planning to kill them, right?”

“…That’s right . ” Julie stared closely at Victorique’s small face .

Victorique looked away . “But I had no proof . At that point, all I had was a hunch . ”

“Oh . ” Julie giggled, then pointed at Kazuya . “Hey, little detective girl . Now I know why you held onto this boy’s hand so tightly . It’s because you saw him acting friendly with me, not knowing that I was the culprit . ”


“No matter how many mean things you said to him, you never let go of his hand . You must’ve been worried sick about him . ”

Victorique pretended not to hear this .

Kazuya stared in surprise at Julie and Victorique, and thought about the time when they were fleeing through the ship . He’d held onto Victorique’s hand out of a desire to protect her, but maybe Victorique had been concerned about him too, in her own way… .

Finally, when it came time for them to leave the room, Julie murmured, “Hey, little detective girl . ”

“…Stop calling me that . ”

“There’s no harm in it . Say … when I first saw you, I had a feeling like I had seen you somewhere before . ” Julie looked carefully at Victorique’s face . “Now I remember where…”

Next to her, Inspector de Blois’ shoulders suddenly twitched .

“It was at the sanatorium where I was staying . There I met a woman who looked exactly like you . That’s where I remembered your face from . But who was that…?”

Victorique’s green eyes widened for a split second . Then she shook her head . “Who knows?”

“Was it your sister? Or maybe…”

Victorique didn’t answer . Instead, she merely waved goodbye at her .