It looks like all it took to return you all to life was, ironically, to murder someone.
Now then, let’s begin, shall we?
I feel like, since I’ve killed one of you, that I should make Xak’s death not be in vain and clarify some potential paths and subsequent dead ends.
I feel like at this stage it should be important to suggest not to fall into the same trap you’d unintentionally fallen into with Pact around breaking alibis. This more or less applies for most of the seeming alibi situations. A game where Battler manages to slip away due to a harsh wordplay in red would be pretty pointless. If I’ve seemed to avoid giving definitive reds on people’s movements it’s twofold: both to keep you in a sense of confusion but also because reds about movements are still generally insufficient and can be danced around, and the whole thing becomes a mess. So I would suggest to keep on the path of reason when it comes to the alibi shindings.
The issue would then be as to how Kanon managed to stay inside of the library while getting the two keys out of the room. Remember, after all, while you don’t need a key to lock the upper lock - the lower one is a different story. And both were locked.
I… don’t think one is able to control one’s actions during sleepwalking. Like neither the sleepwalker nor the outside source. I could be wrong on that. It’d be quite the task for Shannon to be sleepwalking, specifically remove the bookcase, unlock the study, let Kanon in and do nothing (all while still sleeping) and then lock the door and push the bookcase back after he left.
Of course, the underlying issue of the key still remains, even if all of this were to stand.
I’d also like to clear up a thing or two I’ve seen discussed in Discord that could potentially be taken the wrong way. All of these are related to the key problem.
At the time this red was made, it raised some brows given the wording, but I assure you there’s nothing special at work here. I was simply trying to word the red to seem more like a rule set in stone. At the time, I’d overlooked a somewhat contrived option that this left red out in the open like Battler dropping the key but choosing not to do anything about it. But at this point, that option should be denied. There is no trick or wordplay when it comes to this red. Any bizarre wording is just weirdness on my part.
While I’m on the subject of Battler dropping the key, another theory suggested on Discord (I believe by Zepfur) was that as he was giving his jacket to Shannon, the rule about Battler noticing dropping the key would stop being in effect, and that in the time before Shannon started the searching, the key dropped out, hence making her search still perfect despite the blunder.
Naturally, there is no pot and the end of that rainbow. Assume the dropping rule can be applied as liberally as you wish. (Reasonably liberally, of course.)
Speaking of Shannon’s search, I noticed that this red:
left a rather annoying possibility that the ‘examination’, given the context in which the red was given, could be taken to mean that it referred only to the coat, but not the rest of Battler’s person. I also realized ‘oversights’ is a bit too general, letting you move about to something like ‘a-ha! well of course she had no oversights - there was only ONE oversight!’ or something. So, to clarify this red definitively: Had a key, or key-like object been present in any article of clothing Shannon had searched, she would have found it. This is what the examination and oversight parts refer to.
And speaking of the post with this red:
This one was kind of a fuck-up on my end. I couldn’t be bothered to check the narrative, which implies there’s more than one waistcoat pocket. For the purposes of the game, however, assume that there was only one waistcoat pocket to begin with for the sake of keeping things simple. It’s not a hint suggesting unreliable narration, just a mistake on my end.
(Doesn’t seem like too many people noticed so not that big of a deal but was brought up today, so…)
Next, I think it was brought up that the description of the red skull key isn’t exactly the same in two different instances of the story, thus suggesting two such keys existing or possible duplicates. Even though such a possibility won’t necessarily hep you with the problem of the key’s disappearance, you could still potentially claim something like ‘the key Battler found in the room and the one in the pot aren’t literally the same but they unlock the same thing so they are technically the same’. I want to assure you there’s no such thing at play here. There is only, and always has been, only one key that could unlock the lock the red skull key ended up unlocking. (If this red sounds weird it’s because I couldn’t be fucked to look up which part of the lock it unlocked. Sorry fam. You have my word this one’s legit, though.)
Uh, let’s see…
All of the events are presented in chronological order, and take place within the same timeline. Zepfur wanted to go with that narrative trick. Unfortunately, it’s not the case.
Finally, while you’re all asking interesting questions, I do advise you keep them simple and focused more on the chain of events rather than the culprit’s potential motivations. When you’re down in the dumps this much, speculation on the whys of the hows won’t get you far. The sea is endless and the explanations that could potentially wringled out many - and few if any giving a clear path to a solution. Again, while these questions are interesting, focusing on them too much won’t necessarily lead you to a solution here. My best advice is to first work towards a ‘how’ if possible and then wonder if some of the oddities of the culprit’s motivations would be able to fit with it.
(Then again, you’ve been doing that this entire time, so maybe I should just… let this play out. After all, I of all people should know players can catch an unexpected second wind from practically nothing.)
I… think that should be all, for the time being.