Overview[edit | edit source]
Atropos' Ropes is an Event that started in July 2020 to celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of Identity V.
Players obtain Magnifying Glass "clues" by participating in regular battles. Winning a game awards the player with 3 clues, tying with 2 and losing with 1. Players can use these clues to analyse the locations under "Clue Investigation". Discovering a clue with trigger a transcript, and the whole transcript forms a story.
(**Note: Please be aware that current "answers" to the conclusion statements are speculation from clues in the passage, and are not official. If an official note is published with the correct answers, answers on this page will be updated accordingly.)
Rewards[edit | edit source]
|Analysis Points Rewards|
|10||[Portrait] 2nd Anniversary||2nd Anniversary Portrait. Obtainable by participating in the Golden Rose Theatre Investigation.|
|20||50 Spy Glasses||'I wonder if I can see the truth.' Can be obtained from Daily and Weekend Battle Quests. Collect a certain amount to exchange for items at the Event Store. Collect a certain amount to exchange for items at the Event Store.|
|30||"Standby Motion Unlock Card" (Event)||Use to unlock Standby Motion from Memory Sphere S10 and before. Unlock the Standby Motion you wish to acquire by tapping the "use" button.|
|40||[Costume] Photographer - The Client||Question I, the joy of hunting-- does it stem from the chase or the prey?|
|50||[Portrait] Lady Bella||Lady Bella Portrait. Obtainable by participating in the Golden Rose Theatre Investigation.|
|60||[Emote Unlock Card] (Event)||Use to unlock Emotes from Memory Sphere S10 and before. Unlock the Emote you wish to acquire by tapping the "use" button.|
|70||[Costume] Barmaid - Phonograph||Everyone has something they want to keep, but few people actually achieve that.|
|80||[Portrait Frame] Belladonna||Belladonna Portrait Frame. Obtainable by participating in the Golden Rose Theatre Investigation.|
|90||[Accessory] Dancer - Toxic Fragrance||Beauty, Mirage, Death.|
|100||[Permanent Costume] General A Costume (Unlock)||Unlocks 1 selectable A Costume (Unlocks Memory Spheres and non-exclusive Costumes from the Shop)|
Transcript[edit | edit source]
|Atropos' Ropes 1 (40/40) - Text Clues|
|Photographer, The Client, "DM"||The DM I know is interested in everything beautiful --drama, music, gorgeous clothes, beauties, as well as the hunt. We don't usually join him in his entertainment, but given his identity, I may need his help in the future if I were to investigate that matter. I've decided to take on the commission. Let's check out this "Madame Bella" character who has captivated the nobility in town.|
|Photographer, The Client, "DM"||My dear detective, I heard you're back in town. I can't tell you how happy I am. I know you'll relieve me of my worries. A while ago, I've fallen for the Golden Rose Theatre's leading actress, Madame Bella, and expressed my feelings for her. While she kept her distance from me to avoid the public eye, she reciprocated my feelings through her letters to me. She even gave me a keepsake. Yet, for some unknown reason, she abruptly cut off out communication and refused to see me. I want to find out what happened and hope that you can get me the answer. Your good friend, DM.|
|A keepsake in red||A red scarf made from premium fabric and sewn with an exquisite pattern. It has numerous folding marks on it.
The scarf that came with the commission letter, the keepsake DM mentioned, is made from extremely rare silk of high quality, and adorned with exquisite embroidery - it's a luxurious custom made item. Madame Bella is surely living a lavish life.
|When I arrived at the Golden Rose Theatre, I was greeted by a gentle-looking staff member, whom the others called "Jingle Bells". Jingle Bells was really cordial at first, but he turned down my request to see Madame Bella.
"Another fan? I'm sorry mister, but no. Madame Bella won't meet with an ordinary fan," He smiled and said.
"Perhaps this will make me less ordinary?" I took out the scarf from my client and handed it to him.
"This does appear to be the work of Golden Scissors," He mumbled.
"I do believe you're no ordinary fan, mister. Perhaps you can have this invitation to the celebratory party after the first performance. Madame Bella will be there," He suggested.
"But I have something private to discuss with Madame Bella."
Clearly the relationship between my client and Madame Bella wasn't something to be discussed in public. Yet this alerted Jingle Bells. He frowned and looked me over. "No, mister not-so-ordinary. This scarf isn't as special as you hoped it would be."
With that, he stood firm and clearly wanted me to leave.
|Prospector, Leading Actor, "Ronald of Ness"||Just when I was at my wits' end, a familiar voice broke the silence.
"Look who it is! I was going to look for you when the rehearsal was over."
An old friend from the army came out from the lobby. We called him "Ronald of Ness". We hadn't seen each other for years. From the brief exchange of pleasantries with him, I learned that he was now the male lead of this theatre. While I had heard about his passion for performing, I didn't know much. After all, his personality mirrored his name, so that he's not someone you'd want to get to know. However, thanks to his friendship that came with a price, I finally got into the theatre once he talked to Jingle Bells. He even promised to introduce me to Madame Bella after the rehearsal.
|Lawyer, Playwright, "Rusty Penpoint"||Ronald led me to the lobby, introduced me to the playwright, and left for rehearsal. The playwright, who called himself "Rusty Penpoint", explained that despite his title, he was just an assistant playwright. The repertoire was mainly composed by the director, "Scrooge". The director used to be a talented writer, and Rusty Penpoint had joined the theatre so as to learn from him.
"But money and twisted love had corrupted his talent," He said mysteriously.
When I told him I was a friend of my client, he went on and on about the many gossips about the theatre. Like how the previous female lead "Lachesis" fell to her death in her last performance, and how the director then received a sum of money out of ruins. And like how the show they were rehearsing then was the sequel to "Lachesis' Coin", the swan song of the unfortunate female lead. I could tell he enjoyed collecting these gossips, yet when I asked for more details, he began to bottle up.
"If you want to know more, you should talk to 'Commander'. She knows everything."
|Gardener, Logistic Manager, "Commander"||The person whom everyone called "Commander" was a sweet-looking little girl (at least, she appeared to be). She seemed to be the theatre's Logistics Manager. Commander wasn't that interested in the topic about Lachesis, yet she had a lot to say about Madame Bella.
"Bella's personality isn't likeable, and she isn't that close with other members of the theatre. Yet the gentlemen in town flock to her and bring with them all sorts of gifts as if she is the queen. Or perhaps she deserves it? After all, she is like a queen on stage most of the time."
"Most of the time?" I could tell that there was something between the lines.
"Yes, most of the time. Lately, her performance has been fluctuating. Perhaps that's why the director thinks she's inferior to Lachesis. After all, that woman might have died, but she delivered a flawless performance," Commander frowned as is she was lost is some bad memories, before shaking her head. "Yet I think they are essentially the same. After all, Bella is also lunatic who said, 'If I can't deliver a flawless performance, I'd rather die before the curtains are drawn.'"
|Prospector, Leading Actor, "Ronald of Ness"||The theatre's rehearsal took much longer than I anticipated. All of the members came to the lobby after the rehearsal, but they didn't look well, as if something upsetting had happened.
"Our queen wasn't interested in her people at all today," Ronald told me with regrets as he couldn't introduce me to Madame Bella. "Perhaps that crown isn't suitable for her anymore. She isn't Lachesis; even Kroto may be better than her," Ronald exclaimed in anger.
|Mad Eyes, Director, "Scrooge"||"Perhaps she only needs more time." A rickety old man stood behind Ronald. He was well-dressed and had pleasing humility in his eyes which I have so often seen.
"Ronald has told me why you're here. I'm sorry that you've come all this way for nothing." The old man smiled at me and introduced himself as the director.
"I had no idea that Bella was admired by that gentleman, or I'd never have let that happen. Bella has been overwhelmed by those crazy love letters lately, and so she had no choice but to cancel all of her dates." He sighed in exaggeration. But the humble smile returned quickly. "But please inform the gentleman that she will get better soon. We will await his visit with the most perfect performance."
He handed me a beautifully framed ticket holder and politely took his leave.
|Acrobat, Stuntman, "Sparrow"||"The love letters had nothing to do with it!" A shrill voice shouted once "Scrooge" had left. The voice sounded agitated. Ronald whispered to me that this was the theatre's stuntman, Sparrow, an admirer of Bella.
"If at the beginning the director didn't provoke her with Lachesis and give her so much pressure, she wouldn't have hit rock bottom. And when she desperately needed help," He looked at the people around us, "you all actually choose to support that imposter! You bunch of..."
Someone next to Sparrow gave him a tug and stopped him from going on.
|Mechanic, Stage Control, "Smarty Pants"||"Sparrow's just agitated and didn't think before he spoke. He means no harm to Kroto."
It was a girl with short hair wearing an overall who stopped Sparrow. Her eyes roamed among the apprehensive people until Ronald grumbled, "Don't worry, Smarty Pants. Since you've helped me before, I won't tell the director what he just said." The girl whom he called "Smarty Pants" nodded and pulled Sparrow away. Ronald told me Smarty Pants was the theatre's stage control and a good friend of Sparrow. She's very keen and much easier to get along than Sparrow.
|Priestess, Stand-in, "Encore"||"That poor boy still doesn't understand. It's the goddess of destiny who gave up on his queen, not us." When Sparrow and Smarty Pants left, Ronald introduced the person who joined in our conversation as the theatre's stand-in, Encore.
"Kroto has cleaned up her mess time and time again. But thanks to her, Kroto's performance has improved a lot from the extended rehearsals. When I was waiting offstage today, I didn't even realise it was Kroto and not Bella on stage."
|Barmaid, Bella's Maid, "Phonograph"||"Art is creation, not imitation." A woman in an apron walked up to Encore and glared at her. Encore didn't recoil, but snickered.
"Art? This is hilarious coming from a maid. Oh, or did Bella say that, Phonograph?"
|Female Dancer, Understudy, "Kroto"||"That's enough, Encore. I'm exhausted from today's rehearsal. Perhaps you'd be willing to accompany me upstairs for a late afternoon tea." A woman in costume broke the tension in the air. I just knew that she was the other protagonist of the discussion - Kroto. Kroto was really beautiful, but not the kind of aggressive and cold glamour you get from Bella.
"Also, it's the director who decides who gets to stand in the centre of this stage, not destiny." With that, Kroto glanced purposefully towards the other side at a woman with a bottle of perfume in her hands, who hadn't spoken until then.
|An introduction to the Theatre Group||Introduction page of the theatre. It mainly introduces the upcoming performance of "Atropos' Ropes", a story about Atropos using the death of her sister, Lachesis, to assume her identity. The theatre's female lead, Madame Bella, was in Cast A, while a female actress nicknamed Kroto was in Cast B.
It says here that the theatre was established 10 years ago. Its most successful show was called "Lachesis' Coin," a story about Lachesis of a triplet of sisters. The entire family has high hopes that she would bring them eternal glory, but Lachesis broke down from the pressure and ultimately killed herself in exchange for freedom. The upcoming "Atropos' Ropes" is the sequel. The story begins with Lachesis committing suicide by jumping off a cliff. Her sister Atropos was the first to discover her death but didn't tell anyone. She had always wanted to live in the spotlight as her sister did, and so she decided to let Lachesis live on as Atropos disappeared.
|Perfumer, Make-up Artist, "Fragrance Queen"||"Get changed and have a good rest, Kroto. You don't smell like the leading actress at all right now. Everyone else should get home as well. The performances are about to begin and we don't want any more episodes." That woman didn't care about Kroto's hostile glare and instead dispersed the miserable gathering as if she were the one in charge.
"That's the stylist. We all call her the Fragrance Queen," Ronald lowered his voice to a minimum. "For one, her sense of smell is particularly strong. But more importantly, she's the director's confidant. She met Scrooge even before Lachesis. She's the true queen of this theatre."
He was clearly scared of this woman. The others all listened to her and left the lobby in groups. It seemed like I learned nothing from this round of investigation.
|The Ripper, Stylist, "Golden Scissors"||Yet, just when I was about to leave, a tall man stopped me.
"Excuse me, I heard from Jingle Bells that you have one of the scarves I made?" He must be Golden Scissors. I took out the scarf and handed it over.
"I'm sorry but it didn't give me the honour of meeting Madame Bella."
Golden Scissors looked intensely at the scarf.
"This is really it. It's certainly one of mine but doesn't belong to Bella..." Golden Scissors gave me the scarf back and said mysteriously. "At least not now. This is something phased out by Bella because she no longer likes red."
That was something I didn't expect.
"If you would introduce me to your client, then I could give you some interesting news." Golden Scissors took out a carefully folded piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to me. It was the design drawing for the scarf.
"Kroto likes red and covets things that don't belong to her. If the trade is fair, I don't mind feeding her vanity a little bit."
|Two designs||A scarf provided by the client which didn't belong to Bella.
A design drawing with two scarves of identical pattern, one in red, one in white.
|INCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Record 1|
|Red Scarf||To investigate Madame Bella, I arrived at the Golden Rose Theatre with the keepsake. Perhaps due to the recent ruckus wrought by Madame Bella's fans, I was rejected at the door by the receptionist.|
|Intro to Theatre Page||But thanks to my former comrade-in-arms, "Ronald of Ness", who happens to be the leading actor of this theatre, I was given a chance to be introduced to Madame Bella after the rehearsal. The theatre group was currently playing the sequel to the once sensational play "Lachesis' Coin". After the untimely demise of the former leading actress Lachesis, her understudy Kroto wasn't selected to replace Lachesis. Instead, Madame Bella swept in and took Kroto's place.|
|Two Designs||The rehearsal didn't go smoothly. Madame Bella's lack of concentration invoked an argument with Ronald, which eventually deprived me of my opportunity to be introduced to her. The tension between the actors was rising as a result of their argument. Fortunately, my visit wasn't completely fruitless. The maker of the scarf, Golden Scissors, told me that he, in fact, made two scarfs, one in red and the other in white. Madame Bella wasn't too fond of the colour red, so she selected the white scarf. Naturally, this means the red scarf belongs to--|
|Conclusion: Who has been in contact with our client "D.M." during all this time?
Ans: Kroto (Scarf does not belong to Madame Bella as she dislikes red, Kroto "likes red and covets things that don't belong to her." -Quote from Ripper)
|Atropos' Ropes 2 (30/30) - Lobby + Madame Bella's Private Suite + Theatre Map + Performance Hall + Stage|
|On-site Investigation Report||The accident happened shortly after the performance began at 7 o'clock in the evening. The lead actress appeared on the platform and delivered her dialogue. Afterwards, the lights dimmed and the music began to play. When the lights came on again, people found Madame Bella lying face down below the platform, and the red scarf she carried around also came falling down. Madame Bella was dead by the time the doctor arrived. The preliminary investigation revealed that the security rope on the side of the platform where she fell was loose, probably caused by the inertial pull of the fall.
Two days ago, Golden Rose Theatre's lead actress, Madame Bella, fell from a platform during a performance. She was already dead when the police arrived on the scene. Apart from the general audience, that gentleman was also at the scene. That gentleman had a serious relationship with Madame Bella. (You must know more about this than I do. When Bella died, the red scarf she gave to the gentleman as a keepsake was found in her pocket.) The gentleman must have been shocked by what he saw. He demanded that we find out what had happened as soon as possible, yet he wouldn't let us examine Madame Bella's body. (He said he wanted Madame Bella to remain flawless even when she had died.) We're at an impasse. Given how you do owe me a favour, you must help me this time around. See attached the on-site investigation report.
|Prospector, Leading Actor, "Ronald of Ness"||I never thought I would return to the Golden Rose Theatre under such conditions. Everyone in the theatre was asked to stay at home or within the theatre's premises until the investigation was over.
Ronald was waiting for me in the lobby. It seemed like the Sheriff knew I was going to be there. I asked Ronald what roughly had happened.
On that day, he ran up to the stage as soon as he realised that something was wrong. "Scrooge", Kroto, Sparrow and Smarty Pants were also there with him.
"The doctor said Bella died on the spot," I wasn't sure what came to Ronald's mind as he sighed and said, "At least it didn't look like she suffered much before she died."
I asked to see the others. Ronald hesitated.
"They had a huge fight with Phonograph about Bella just now. I'm not sure if they would answer your questions." But I insisted, and Ronald took me to Bella's suite to see the others.
|Barmaid, Bella's Maid, "Phonograph"||I saw Phonograph, Fragrance Queen, "Scrooge" and Kroto at the suite entrance. The atmosphere inside was extremely tense. I asked Phonograph about her condition on the day of the accident. Phonograph sounded upset and told me that Bella sent her to pick up something in town, and she had only gotten back today.
"Meanwhile, they seized the opportunity while I was away to discuss the new owner of the suite when Bella hasn't even been laid to rest." Phonograph seemed really angry. It turned out that "Scrooge" wanted Phonograph to pick up Bella's belongings so that Kroto could move in.
|Mad Eyes, Director, "Scrooge"||"This is for the good of the show! The leading actress should stay here! She'll be more prepared for her debut," "Scrooge" broke his silence and defended himself.
"What 'good'? Good for preparing for the next person to die?" Phonograph raised her voice with her pain and resentment made clear. "Do you think I wanted this to happen?" "Scrooge" got agitated all of a sudden. He seemed to be glaring at Phonograph. "Haven't I suffered enough because of Lachesis?"
Then again, he seemed to be looking further away.
"Seeing Bella lying in the middle of the stage brought me right back to the nightmare that year."
With that, he slammed the door and left.
|Female Dancer, Understudy, "Kroto"||"I don't want to move in here. It's been cursed by Lachesis." Kroto said quietly after "Scrooge" had left. She seemed a bit depressed and unhappy about finally becoming the female lead.
"'Lachesis, are you calling me?' You heard that too, right? It happened when you were doing her make-up for rehearsal," Kroto was looking at Fragrance, who had remained quiet throughout.
Fragrance didn't respond, but Phonograph ran towards Kroto all of a sudden and accused her of being "Scrooge's" lackey and spy. Kroto didn't defend herself and left the room as Phonograph's accusations intensified. With her target gone, Phonograph also returned to the maids' room.
|Perfumer, Make-up Artist, "Fragrance Queen"||According to Ronald, the female lead always had her make-up done by the make-up artist in this suite before heading backstage via the side passages on the second floor. Under normal circumstances, Kroto couldn't have known what Bella had said, and so Phonograph's suspicion about Kroto being a spy was reasonable.
We were the only ones left in the vast room with Fragrance. When I wanted to question her, she stonewalled me by saying she'd already told the police everything she knew. Her posture clearly said that she refused to communicate with me further, yet her deeply set eyes kept checking me out.
Ronald suggested that I should talk to the others first while he tries to talk to Fragrance for me.
|Theatre Map||Once I'd left Bella's suite, I observed the entire structure of the second floor in detail. There were two narrow passages leading towards backstage on both sides of the floor. From what Ronald told me, Bella should have gone backstage the same way on that day. When the curtains raised, she got up on the platform. Then the platform was lowered and Bella ended up in the middle of the stage. At the point when the platform was being lowered, there were no other ways leading backstage. I had to go back the way I came and through the lobby and theatre to look for other witnesses.|
|Theatre Map||An old news article reads, "Overdue Justice".
10 years ago, Golden Rose Theatre's stage controller was held responsible and imprisoned for the accidental death of an actress, Lachesis. Today, stage design mechanical experts have conducted a more thorough safety analysis based on a record of the original stage. According to the official evaluation, there wasn't any operational or maintenance error on the part of the stage controller. This cleared his name. Unfortunately, the stage controller died of an illness shortly after he was imprisoned and couldn't see the day of his acquittal.
|Commission Letter||The letterhead and envelope seem really well made. They must have been personalised by DM.
When I discovered that the scarf didn't belong to Madame Bella, I sent it back along with the investigation report. However, I had been swamped with work and didn't have time to get rid of the client's letter and the envelope it came in.
|Mechanic, Stage Control, "Smarty Pants"||As I got to the theatre, Smarty Pants and Sparrow were standing in front of the stage. I had no idea what they were discussing. Yet when they saw me, they stopped talking and looked at each other. Sparrow looked as if he wanted to say something as Smarty Pants nudged him in protest. She walked over to me and said in a whisper, "Mr Detective, even though the director isn't letting Sparrow say anything... I just thought the truth shouldn't be shrouded like the last time. I don't want the tragedy of Ronald's father to happen again."
I nodded and praised her for her kindness.
"Sparrow and I were trying to recall what had happened on that day, and we thought something was odd."
According to Smarty Pants, the stage was designed by a senior member of the theatre. She double-checked the design and even restored it a while back for other matters. There were no safety issues whatsoever. The platform could fit two people standing, and the elevation was smooth. The operation was simple --the actor only needed to press a button on the column and the platform would be lowered. There was no need to walk towards the edge of the platform and risk falling over.
|Acrobat, Stuntman, "Sparrow"||"Yet coincidences and accidents are inevitable," I said cautiously.
"But that's not the oddest part." Sparrow led me near the platform.
"Someone pressed the platform's elevation button that day."
Apparently, buttons for raising and lowering the platform were installed on different columns to prevent actors from mixing them up. At the end of each performance, Smarty Pants would raise the platform and reset the button until the next performance. They were here today to check the buttons and found that something was off --both buttons for raising and lowering the platform had been used.
If what they were saying was true, it meant that someone other than Bella was on that platform that day to lower and raise the platform again.
"Who else was on the second floor that day?" I asked.
"You may have to check with Jingle Bells. On performance days, he's usually in charge of securing the second-floor entrance. The second floor is where the officials' and nobilities' private rooms are located, and they don't like to be disturbed."
|I found the morose Jingle Bells in the lobby. It seemed that he was really affected by Madame Bella's death. From his recollection, the entire second floor was reserved by an aristocrat. For an aristocrat, he seemed skittish and almost didn't make it on time for the performance. He never came down before the accident. This aristocrat was none other than my client.|
|A Pile of Special Letters||A pile of letters -- in envelopes personalised by my client. Chronologically, the earlier letters were ripped open with force, whereas the later ones were opened carefully with a letter opener.
I returned to Bella's suite with doubts. Neither Fragrance nor Ronald was there. Phonograph was packing up Bella's belongings. She seemed to have accepted "Scrooge's" arrangement. At the moment, a pile of letters in the corner of the room caught my attention. I asked Phonograph to show me the letters. She hesitated before handing them over.
"These are all from Bella's fans, but the pile seems to have gotten bigger since I put them away last time," She muttered. It really was a huge pile of letters and most of the letters were ordinary fan letters, but the envelope's design caught my attention -- it was my client's personalised design.
|Prospector, Leading Actor, "Ronald of Ness"||At this moment, Ronald asked me to meet him in the lobby. He looked amused but ultimately shook his head.
"What was I thinking? If there's one good person left in town, it's either Smarty Pants or you." He sensed my confusion and explained how Fragrance told him the cast of the performance was only finalised in the morning on that day. Bella finally won, yet she refused to rehearse in the afternoon. Even so, "Scrooge" chose to cancel the rehearsal and didn't change the cast. At dusk, Fragrance went upstairs to help Bella with her make-up as usual. Yet Kroto informed her that Bella would rather do her own make-up and asked Fragrance to look after the others instead. Fragrance wasn't happy about that but she put it out of her mind as Bella's temper had been fluctuating lately. Her keen sense of smell made her cautious of me. When I visited last time, a special scent on me caught her attention. It was fading but she could tell it's a scent obtained by multiple refinements. And the only two places where she noticed such special scent was in Bella's room and the platform from which she fell.
As I reviewed the connection between these three places and what I learned today, I realised that all the clues about this fragrance came from the same thing...
|INCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Record 2|
|On-site Investigation Report||Just when I thought the Golden Rose Investigation was coming to an end, I got a call from the Sheriff. During the opening night of Atropos' Ropes, Madame Bella fell from a platform and died before the police got to the scene. And the red scarf she gave to my client as a keepsake fell with her and shocked him, who was there to see the performance. He ordered the Sheriff to get to the bottom of this case as soon as possible.|
|A Pile of Special Letters||I went to the Golden Rose Theatre again to investigate. The clues were scattered at first. Everything seemed to suggest that it was an accident until Sparrow told me about the special mechanics of the platform and the unusual states of the buttons. Jingle Bells told me that an aristocrat reserved the entire second floor. Fragrance revealed that a special scent was found on me, in Bella's suite, and at the crime scene. There was also the personalised envelope in Bella's suite on the second floor, which I was familiar with.|
|Commission Letter||It was a personalised envelope of my client, DM. The commission letter addressed to me and the red scarf which was given to me before getting its way back to Bella were both sent in such an envelope. All of these suggested that--|
|Conclusion: What is the source of this special scent on "me"?
Ans: Scent from the scarf (Scarf was on detective during first investigation, with Bella as she fell and in Bella's room)
|Atropos' Ropes 3 (30/30) - Lobby + Madame Bella's Private Suite|
|Madame Bella's Inspection Report||According to the autopsy report provided by the Society, the time of death was around 5 pm. The body's injuries from the fall were post-mortem and not the cause of death. The real cause of death was poison, and the toxin was a mixture of plant extracts.
The further investigation into Madame Bella's death that you wished to conduct was otherwise straightforward, except that I ran into some difficulties when investigating the gentleman initially. I had to resort to some peculiar tactics to get his cooperation. To prove his innocence, that gentleman removed the restrictions against Madame Bella's investigation and introduced us to the Medical Society for an autopsy on Madame Bella's body. Guess what happened? He was proved innocent. According to the Society's report, Madame Bella was dead before the performance began. And our gentleman was in the council all afternoon, which all of the city's dignitaries could testify in his favour. He simply wouldn't have the time to commit the crime.
I know this sounds outrageous, which is why I hope you'll point me to the truth. Please find attached the Investigation Report for your consideration.
P.S. The other suspects are waiting for you at the theatre.
|Prospector, Leading Actor, "Ronald of Ness"||The Society's conclusion was final. I returned to the theatre to start the investigation all over again. I asked the members of the theatre to go to the lobby to piece together what had happened that afternoon.
Ronald was the first to arrive. According to Ronald, it was the director who relayed the message that Bella refused to attend the last rehearsal. While he was ticked off, but he wasn't surprised. By that time, Kroto could take on Bella's role convincingly, so he didn't really care whom he was going to perform with.
The last rehearsal went smoothly and ended at around 4 pm. He went with Rusty Penpoint to check out Smarty Pants' stage preparations in the theatre. At 6 pm, the "Commander" called them to dinner, and the others went to prepare for the evening's performance.
|Priestess, Stand-in, "Encore"||Encore was the next to arrive. Ronald said because of Encore's background, she's always been superstitious. She would do a fortune reading at the lobby before each opening performance, which she also did on that day. And since Bella's death brought back memories of Lachesis' mystery, this place has recently been labelled the cursed theatre, which made Encore even more neurotic.
"Shut up, Ronald! You don't know anything!" Encore screeched as she interrupted Ronald. "Lachesis died with a grudge. That's why she couldn't rest in peace and had to linger here."
Encore glanced around the lobby nervously before focusing on the closed doors of the theatre.
"Grudge? What did Lachesis have a grudge about?" I asked.
Encore didn't respond and drifted mysteriously towards the corner away from the crowd.
|A piece of newspaper||It reported Lachesis's accident back then, the development of public opinion that followed, and the similarities with the latest Madame Bella incident. Underneath a poster of the Moirai, the reporter's title asked: An unfortunate accident or a murder in cold? A bloody flower quivering on gold.|
|The Ripper, Stylist, "Golden Scissors"||"It was rumoured that Lachesis had to leave the theatre back then because the theatre was about to become insolvent. Yet after Lachesis died, the director received a substantial settlement as the beneficiary of a huge insurance policy and the theatre survived. If these were all true, what do you think Lachesis would have a grudge about?"
I wasn't paying attention when Golden Scissors came over. He handed a piece of newspaper to me and said that's what he always does in the afternoon every day --he would read the newspapers in the lobby to look for fashion inspirations, and that he did the same when the incident happened. Both Encore, who was reading a fortune in the lobby, and the "Commander", who was preparing dinner, could testify for him.
|Gardener, Logistic Manager, "Commander"||"Bookending? Isn't it writers' favourite technique?"
Just when I was about to read the newspaper, the Commander joined in our conversation.
"I suppose Lachesis could be considered a mix between Kroto and Bella. While she was arrogant, misstepping and falling off the stage during the opening performance? Such a thing might have happened to Bella, who had been slacking off lately. But for it to have happened to Lachesis, who had never missed a rehearsal and never made a single mistake, a genius who's deadly serious to the point of pathological? That's not very credible."
It seemed that they had no idea about Bella's actual cause of death.
|Acrobat, Stuntman, "Sparrow"||"That's nonsense!"
Bella's loyal supporter, Sparrow, rushed over and accused the Commander in anger.
"She's already gone. Why do you still have to ruin her reputation? Bella didn't slack off! She was merely off her game lately!"
Sparrow got really agitated. Next to him, Smarty Pants supported Sparrow's view with the fact that she had returned to the theatre late one night to retrieve something she had left behind and found Bella practicing by herself at the platform.
|Night Patrol||According to a night patroller, not long before Madame Bella died, he often heard singing coming from the theatre when he was patrolling behind the Golden Rose Theatre at night. Sometimes the voice sounded like Madame Bella, and sometimes it sounded like Lachesis, who died years ago.|
|Perfumer, Make-up Artist, "Fragrance Queen"||"That wasn't Bella, that was Kroto."
Fragrance spoke up for the first time and said she had also once walked by the theatre late at night and heard singing coming from inside. When she walked closer, she found Kroto practising.
"I thought it was Bella at first, but I realised that this person was imitating Lachesis' movements and voice, something Bella would never do. And Bella really wasn't at her best during that time, so perhaps Kroto thought it was time to imitate someone else."
|"But I found an empty crystal bottle near the platform, which was then taken away by Phonograph. I recognised that bottle. It was a gift for Madame Bella from that gentleman. I accepted delivery on her behalf a few times."
Jingle Bells was clearly on the side of Sparrow and Smarty Pants. He described the bottle in detail to make his claim more credible.
Fragrance looked grave as soon as she heard that it was a crystal bottle with a short and round neck. She grabbed onto Jingle Bells and asked him when had all that happened. When he told her it was a week before opening night, she quickly walked towards the second floor. I continued asking Jingle Bells about that day.
Jingle Bells recalled that when rehearsal was over that afternoon, he was already prepping security at the second-floor entrance. The majority of the others were on the first floor that entire afternoon. "When the performance was about to begin, the director went upstairs to inform Madame Bella as usual. He came back down when that gentleman arrived, by which time Kroto has just gone upstairs..." Jingle Bells scratched his head. "I never saw her come downstairs all night."
An idea began to form in my head. It was time to have a chat with the new leading actress. I was also bothered by Fragrance's behaviour just now.
|Government Ban||The government issued a ban today: the Society has decided to prohibit the sale and distribution of "Quivering Flower" on the market from now on. At the same time, a list of "Quivering Flower" customers have been located. Various dignitaries and celebrities were found on the list, including the Golden Rose Theatre's female lead -Madame Bella.|
|Barmaid, Bella's Maid, "Phonograph"||As soon as I reached Bella's suite, I heard a heated argument coming from inside.
"She stopped using that a long time ago, ever since that thing was outlawed."
That was Phonograph, who seemed to be explaining something. Yet she seemed hesitant and not very convincing.
"Then what was it that you took from Jingle Bells? Didn't she end things with DM? A liar always gets what they deserve." Fragrance didn't sound like she was gloating. She actually sounded sad.
"I have no idea who gave that to her, but I'm sure it wasn't DM," Phonograph argued. "After the visit from that Detective, "Scrooge" forced her to send an invitation to DM. That's been their only communication lately."
"So you all knew that that gentleman had taken a liking to Bella? Even you," Scrooge said pompously, with a hint of spite. "I once thought that I could trust you, Fragrance."
Fragrance scoffed, seemingly admitting to it all.
"Ever since you took Lachesis' compensation to rebuild the theatre and recruited Bella, there has never been any trust between us."
With that, the suite went dead silent, until Kroto came up next to me.
"What are you doing here?"
|Female Dancer, Understudy, "Kroto"||"I have a question for you, Miss Kroto," I replied calmly. A look of panic flashed across Kroto's face, then she regained her composure.
"At the time of Madame Bella's incident, where were you?" I asked.
"I didn't have to perform that day, so naturally, I was resting on the second floor," Kroto seemed to have anticipated the question and answered calmly.
"But according to the police report, you were one of the witnesses on the scene as you had gone on stage with Ronald," I exposed her lie.
"I... I went down only after I was that something had happened," Kroto got a bit nervous and argued wryly. I shook my head.
"I've studied the structure of the theatre. There are only two ways to get from the second floor to the first. One way is to go through the hallway guarded by Jingle Bells, but Jingle Bells said he never saw you coming down all night. The other way... is to go through the platform where Bella fell. So it was you who pushed Madame Bella off the platform. And before Madame Bella died, she left us an important clue," I didn't give Kroto any chance to defend herself and went on. "For the red scarf found at the scene, you would have known better than anyone else whom it should belong to, and whom it actually belonged to. Once I tell everyone about this, then the police will know too."
It's a lie, but it could cover up another lie so long as everyone pretended that they didn't know. It's a shame that they couldn't do so.
|Barmaid, Bella's Maid, "Phonograph"||"You murderer!"
Phonograph rushed towards Kroto in a rage.
"You knew Bella wouldn't get in the way between you and DM, but you killed her anyways!"
She pushed Kroto onto the floor and wrestled with her. Fragrance and "Scrooge" quickly pulled them apart.
"I didn't kill her! Bella was dead before she went on stage!" Kroto screeched. "Director! Tell them! I didn't kill her! I only brought her under the platform!"
Everyone was looking at "Scrooge" as he retreated to the side and sat down, all tensed up.
"I... I don't know. Kroto has always been jealous of Bella... It's not impossible that she would push Bella off the platform." With a wavering expression on his face, "Scrooge" seemed to be struggling inside.
Kroto stared at "Scrooge" in disbelief before she collapsed on the floor in despair.
A lie can expose the truth, so long as everyone pretended that they know.
|Female Dancer, Understudy, "Kroto"||"Be thankful for the medicine, Miss Kroto. Perhaps you should also be grateful to that gentleman whom you sought connection with. Madame Bella's Inspection Report proved that you're not lying. You probably really weren't there at Bella's actual time of death."
My words made Kroto breathe a sigh of relief as if she had been pardoned.
"But then when the performance had begun, it was you on that platform, right? Miss Kroto."
Kroto nodded and confessed that she had gone upstairs after rehearsal on that day when "Scrooge" told her about Bella's death. "Scrooge" wanted to cheat on their insurance policy and wouldn't call the police. He asked her to perform in disguise as Bella and to push Bella's body off the platform when the lights went out to make it look like an accident.
"But I never thought that he would frame me with that scarf!" Kroto glared at "Scrooge".
"Perhaps he's the actual murderer!" She pointed at "Scrooge and roared.
I shook my head.
"Judging from Bella's actual time of death in the Inspection Report, all of you had a solid alibi." As everyone was stunned, I double-checked the gorgeous suit once again and recalled everything that had happened here."
The red scarf, the personalised letter, and the special scent.
"I'm afraid that the scarf's original purpose was simply to awaken that gentleman's short-lived admiration and to make him prevent the police from performing an autopsy."
My eyes finally settled on the delicate dresser, where several small bottles were neatly arranged.
|Quivering Flower||A reagent that's said to invigorate women's energy, making their eyes sparkle and their movements alluring. It's extracted from a certain plant and the odour in the initial extraction was rather unpleasant and couldn't be removed, explaining the reason why this reagent wasn't popular and had been dormant for years. But someone dissolved a fragrant plant's extract into the reagent later on and solved this problem. That's how this reagent, known as Quivering Flower, became popular in the city. Yet, given the complex extraction process, its price is high. It's usually only used by the noblewomen in the city or by those who receive bottles of Quivering Flower as gifts from the nobility. Rumour has it that many of that gentleman's female companions have received this magical gift.
It's a set of crystal bottles. As I picked up one of the bottles, Phonograph rushed over hysterically and tried to snatch it away. When I stopped her, she started yelling that it was just an ordinary bottle.
"My sense of smell may indeed be inferior to Fragrance's, but I believe that the Society would be able to tell what this used to contain." I looked over at Phonograph, Kroto, and "Scrooge". "Perhaps we can make a deal. You tell me what this is and I'll tell you how Bella got ahold of it."
Fragrance bit her lip and finally let out a sigh. "Quivering Flower, that's what they called it."
|Perfumer, Make-up Artist, "Fragrance Queen"||"It's your turn," Fragrance asked for her "reward" once she'd explained the effects of Quivering Flower.
"Remember how both you and Sparrow saw someone practising late at night?" I asked. Fragrance nodded.
"You were both right, except that you were talking about different nights. Both Bella and Kroto had likely practised late at night before, which was how Kroto might have found out that Bella was using Quivering Flower. But Quivering Flower was later outlawed. By then, Bella already had a mild case of drug addiction and had gotten worse with the increasing pressure you were putting on her. At that time, my visit exposed Kroto's disguise as Bella in front of that gentleman. To pacify that gentleman, Kroto must have asked Bella for help and told her the truth. Everyone must have known that that gentleman would give his female companions Quivering Flower, including Kroto. To avoid Bella finding out, Kroto must have never used it and so she had extra to make a deal with Bella. Bella knew it was risky to use it again, but the performances were coming up, so she ultimately agreed." I handed the crystal bottle to Kroto. "Did I get that right, Miss Kroto?"
I looked over at Kroto and she nodded dejectedly.
The gorgeous suite fell into dead silence as things finally came to an end.
|INCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Record 3|
|Madame Bella's Inspection Report||To prove his innocence, the client removed the restrictions against Madame Bella's investigation. According to the autopsy conducted by the Medical Society, we discovered that Madame Bella had died before the performance began, and the cause of death was not the fall but poisoning.|
|A piece of newspaper||When I'd investigated the personnel of the theatre, "Scrooge" became the main suspect. Rumour had it that he once used Lachesis' death to cheat the insurance policy and got the theatre through a crisis with the compensation he obtained. It's natural to wonder if he was up to his old tricks.|
|Set of Crystal Bottles||But the testimony of Jingle Bells gave everyone an alibi, so I made use of the distrust between "Scrooge" and Kroto to make up a lie that lured Kroto into coming clean about how she and "Scrooge" disguised Bella's death as a staged accident. But the actual killer of Bella was--|
|Conclusion: Who was most likely responsible for Madame Bella's death?
Ans: Madame Bella (died from poisoning, likely from an overdose of "Quivering Flower". Kroto and "Scrooge" only planned to push her off the platform, she died before the performance.)
|INCIDENT INVESTIGATION: Conclusion|
|I handed the final investigation findings to Jose, yet the obituary published in the newspapers soon after maintained that Madame Bella died of a staged accident. That gentleman must have something to do with it.
But this was no longer my concern.
People wouldn't be interested in the whole story, like how they wouldn't be interested to know --why didn't Kroto simply push Bella's body off the platform in the first place, in which case she wouldn't have been suspected at all?
Like how they wouldn't be interested to know --did "Scrooge" really make use of Lachesis to obtain the compensation fraudulently back then?
Or like how they wouldn't be interested to know --why did Bella drink the reagent when she clearly knew of the risks? Was the ending the one she had hoped for?
For a while, people reminisced the premature wilting of the most beautiful flower in the spotlight, yet they soon turned their attention to the latest beauty, just like my client.
Epilogue[edit | edit source]
|When I reencountered Kroto, she had already left the Golden Rose Theatre and joined a new theatre group. Perhaps time really can mend all wounds. She wasn't reluctant to talk about what had happened, so I presented her with my many questions. From whether Lachesis died of murder or by accident, to questions on why she didn't push Madame Bella off the platform, she answered my questions without concealment.
|Under the circumstances unrelated to the Golden Rose Theatre case, I find myself reviewing Lachesis' insurance policy through unconventional means. To my surprise, besides "Scrooge", the policy's beneficiaries were Kroto and Lachesis herself.|
|Epilogue: Ronald of Ness|
|I accepted Ronald's invitation, and once again, I find myself entering the doors of the Golden Rose Theatre. He was waiting for me at the lobby, as he did the last time, yet this time, as the owner of this theatre. He amassed a vast fortune from god knows where and purchased the deed for this sizable estate. As my detective intuition tingles and a seed of doubt starts growing in me, the doorbell rings and breaks my train of thought.
Character Clues + Relationships[edit | edit source]
40/40, Atropos' Ropes Part 1 Google Docs
30/30, Atropos' Ropes Part 2 Google Docs
30/30, Atropos' Ropes Part 3 Google Docs
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- One of the plants used in "Quivering Flower" is Deadly Nightshade, or Atropa Belladonna.
- The Three Fates in Greek Mythology are named "Lachesis", "Atropos", and "Clotho" (or Kroto). Clotho spun the “thread” of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual’s moment of death).
- The Three Fates are referred to as an individual with the name "Moirai", which is hinted at in the piece of newspaper of Act 3 of Atropos' Ropes.
- The motif of "Time" is brought up a couple of times within the animation for Bella Donna! Bella Donna!, which could refer to the Three Fates having a part in determining the length of a person's life with their threads.
- Death is also a prominent term in the animation. Madame Bella states that she is "born to die", which could also be a reference to how the Fates determine the life and fate of a person the moment they are born.
- In the promotional art for Bloody Queen's package, Bella Donna, her S-Tier accessory, Perfect Marionette, is seen connected to her through pink threads, a reference to the threads of fate.
- "Ronald of Ness" is noted to be "not someone you'd want to get to know, as his personality mirrored his name" by the Detective.
- "Ness" is a Scottish name for males. It is noted that people with this name "are often the center of attention, and enjoy careers that put them in the limelight. They tend to become involved in many different activities, and are sometimes reckless with both their energies and with money." This could be referring to Ronald taking up the role as lead actor in the Golden Rose Theatre The "reckless with money" part might refer to the Prospector's obsession with gold.
- "Ronald" has many different origins and different meanings for different parts of the world. This form of "Ronald" might refer to the Scottish meaning due to the connotation of "Ness".
Sources: Reddit Thread