I don’t understand what that has to do with what I’ve just said. We were discussing Sayo’s motivations for committing the murders. You grabbed onto the part where I noted Sayo did care about the cousins, but that wasn’t the main point.
The duel of love segment, in the end, showed off metaphorically what happened in the real world. The part of Sayo that was Beatrice would’ve lost because Battler never came back to the island and forgot about his promise. The end of EP6 itself pretty much tells you - with the part of Kanon himself narrating - that he didn’t really understand what exactly it is he liked about Jessica. The part of Sayo that was Shannon was the one Sayo had spent most of her life as and she and George formed the most natural connection.
If anything, the duel of love segment in the meta is there to show how things would’ve gone if Battler had never returned. Beatrice would’ve lost, and Sayo would’ve probably chosen George.
(Then again, it’s questionable how long Sayo’s life would’ve lasted before their mental health issues got the better of them.)
But in the end, not even that much matters. Shannon, Kanon, Beato - these are parts - extensions of Sayo that add up to a whole. Their inability to understand their own feelings, their gender, and the pain of heartbreak caused for them to recontextualize their feelings by dividing who they were into personas.
By the end of EP6, essentially everyone does end up getting what they want and everyone is reuinted with who they want to be. If nothing else, it did show the potential for Sayo to be happy with any of them. Or, you know - it’s essentially the afterlife so it doesn’t really matter.
The 6th game makes it pretty clear Erika killing everyone was not a part of Battler’s original plan. (We could go on and debating whether or not he pulled off a brilliant chessmaster and got himself stuck in a logic error for the sole purpose of resurrecting Beatrice, but that discussion is one I’m not particularly in the mood for and I think it’s been covered multiple times - I think in one of the other threads).
I think I saw a discussion on the 18th person thing somewhere around here and I think it was clarified a bit better than I could put it. It’s essentially wordplay.
I’m going with the solution that makes the most sense thematically, contextually and was essentially spelled out, clear as day, in the manga. If I’m not looking at other interpretations, it’s because they would turn the story into a farce - a pointless exercise in which an alternative solution for the murders may exist, but the journey of the characters and the love hidden in the story is made worthless and a charade.
The only part, in my mind, worth debating is Yasu and what parts of them were left up to the readers to determine. I’ve stated my own explanations here, but in my mind, nothing in the story itself flat-out denies or stands as a solid contradiction to make the whole thing fall apart.