The Hares Break a Promise Under the Morning Sun
Chaos covers the replica of the Queen Berry as so does the sea.
Kazuya opens his eyes, expecting to be killed by a gunshot from Maurice's pistol, but instead, he sees Maurice bathed in his own blood. Also, he sees Julie holding a small gun, much to his surprise; she later admits that she found the gun hidden inside a lamp.
Then, Ned throws away Maurice's gun, then tells Julie to throw away hers as well to avoid anyone to kill each other out of the sense of suspecting. Although Julie is seen disappointed by Ned's move, she follows Ned's order and walks away, for a moment tripping and dropping her white shoulder bag, which Victorique throws back at her.
As they head back upstairs, Victorique opens the topic about his status as the third son of an imperial soldier. According to him, there is no such thing as promotion to eldest son from third son like Victorique assumes, and that it is his pride that makes him exert too much.
Then, the sound of a man's painful scream pierces the silence. They rush to Ned, who has gone ahead of them, and notices that he is motionless, facing the wall with one arm placed behind his back. Kazuya searches for a pulse, but does not find any. Meanwhile, Julie mutters about the feeling of having seen such a sight before.
Victorique then asks Kazuya to come close to her. Although Kazuya initially points out the need to investigate Ned's body for any clues, he realizes that at the moment... Victorique is scared. In fact, she has been scared for some time, and it is at the moment when Ned died that everything felt too much for her. As Kazuya moves closer to her, she declares that they might be murdered and asks him and Julie to run.
They head to the nearest room to search for hidden weapons as Victorique commanded, and upon their search, Kazuya discovers a pair of knuckle dusters. Julie then asks everyone to hide, as she senses someone coming, and as they conceal their presence cautiously, they saw a man wielding a large axe enter the room.
Unfortunately for Victorique, part of her skirt is exposed from view, and she is captured by the self-proclaimed "hunting dog'... none other than Ned Baxter himself. As Julie is shocked by the revelation, Kazuya bravely charges towards Ned, striking him with a fist to his cheek, slightly blinding his left eye and allowing Victorique to escape, although her necklace snaps and falls to the floor. Meanwhile, Kazuya delivers a few more punches to Ned's face until he falls unconscious. Julie, on the other hand, picks up Victorique's necklace.
Kazuya, Victorique and Julie then escapes from the room, leaving Ned locked from the outside.
Outside, Julie takes the time to give back Victorique her necklace, which she thanks Julie for. As usual, Kazuya is asked by Victorique to secure the necklace for her. Soon, Julie asks her about how she sorted out that Ned is not actually dead. Victorique explains that Ned used the tennis ball he usually throws around to stop his pulse by placing it on his armpit and squeezing it using his arm. She also tells her that her scared expression earlier is just a ruse to lure Ned out.
As Kazuya and Victorique head for the radio room, Julie screams; behind him is Ned, who threw her aside and begins to head for Victorique and Kazuya. Kazuya pushes Victorique and tells her to call for help while he distracts Ned. Victorique rejects his idea, putting her interest to participate to blame for their fate. However, Kazuya points out that he wants her safe, even disregarding his personal pride as a soldier's son and pushes her in, locking him outside to face Ned alone.
Victorique pleads for Kazuya to be with his side, while Kazuya prepares himself to fight Ned. (This is the very first time in the series that it is shown that despite Victorique's non-expression attitude towards Kujo, she actually likes him and cares deeply for him, as she pleaded him to stay by her side and return home together).
Kazuya's charge manages to divest Ned's weapon, however, he is taken down in one punch by Ned, and he receives a beating. At that time, he remembers being in a similar situation in his home.
However, he is now determined to change that, for the sake of his life and Victorique's.
With a burst of energy, Kazuya retaliates and attempts to take down Ned once again, only to be thrown into the rails by Ned. As the "hunting dog" prepares to finish the fight, Ned feels a sharp pain on his back: it was Julie, who manages to stab Ned with the same weapon he used to threaten their lives. Ned staggers to the rails as Kazuya stands back up, and he falls to the raging sea.
It appears that everything is resolved, and Kazuya rushes to Victorique, who then reluctantly expresses her relief upon seeing him alive.
That morning, the replica of the Queen Berry is seen sinking to the Mediterranean while another ship rescued Victorique, Julie and Kazuya. And upon their return, Julie receives a bigger surprise: Grevil awaits for her return, along with a number of policemen.
Inside the police station, it is revealed the Julie herself is the culprit behind what is going on. And Victorique tells her the reason why: she lied.
Victorique debunks her claim that she is the daughter of a wealthy person, illustrating her manner of walking (walking a few steps back, then turning, then walking at the opposite direction) as unfit for someone who lives in a spacious mansion.
Also, Victorique exposes that she knew that Julie has been keeping the gun close to her, even when everyone is still alive. Kazuya recalled being stunned for a short while after being hit by Julie's bag, but Victorique realized that her bag was too light to cause anyone a headache (i.e. without the gun).
At that moment, Julie finally faces her defeat and explains everything to Victorique and the others.
In reality, she - along with ten others - are orphans, who woke up in the Queen Berry. Because of their different nationalities, communication is a challenge, and it is only their circumstances as children inside a prison of a ship allowed them to talk to each other. However, that link disappeared when the first death occurred, and it sparks the start of a series of murders inside the ship.
However, despite the bloodshed, she finds a friend in one of the orphans, and with the two friends and a handful of other orphans, they escape to the radio room, where Maurice awaits their return. It is revealed that everything is merely a game amongst rich people, with representatives of France, Italy, America and Sauville surviving; England served as the Hunting Dog. Roxane is also part of the game - perhaps even the organizer - and she ordered the sinking of the "box" (i.e. the Queen Berry) as part of a prophecy.
Victorique then explains that the "Running of the Hares" are actually a large-scale omen that probably leads to a future event, with 11 children from 11 countries used as a sort of augury device like how Roxane hares to predict the future. She also links the dates of the two "Running of the Hares", both in Spring, ten years apart.
Kazuya then remembers about an outbreak in Sarajevo (a place in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the start of the Great War. Victorique then explains that his hunch is correct; in June 1914, the Archduke of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo, and this sparked a war that led to country leaders to resort to fortune-telling to look into the future.
In the end, the bloodshed in the Queen Berry was simply a part of a fortune-telling session. The "box" is Queen Berry. The eleven children are the eleven greatest countries in the Atlantic.
And the prediction came true; after the end of the Great War, the Allies are victorious: France, Italy, America, Sauville, and England.
Julie then continues on narrating what happened to her after the events in the Queen Berry. Because she survived, she is given a huge sum of money while she stays in a sanitorium for some time. After that, she spends most of her money recreating the Queen Berry and staging her plan to avenge the crimes that almost cost her life ten years ago.
After that, she commented that she finally understood the reason why Victorique has been trying to keep Kazuya close to him. She was then brought by the police outside the room, where she meets up with the woman who was her friend inside the Queen Berry. It turns out that it is the maid who killed Roxane in the first place, and after returning her necklace to its owner, the maid (named Lee) and Julie finally meet after ten years.
Back at Saint Marguerite Academy, Kazuya rants to Victorique after Grevil is - once again - wrongfully credited for the solving of the Queen Berry incident. As usual, Victorique does not care about it, and tells him that it is how egomaniac his brother is. Kazuya is shocked by her revelation, and Victorique clarifies that they are half-siblings, with a different mother.
However, Victorique's mother is treated as dangerous by the government and she is forced to live in a sealed room inside the Blois estate, with permission to leave in the hands of the Duke. On the other hand, Grevil enjoys the benefits of being a legitimate child. Victorique refers to herself as a trapped princess, and pities herself for having such a fate.
With that, she continues to nag Kazuya to sate her taste for mystery, only to fall asleep in Kazuya's arms. Kazuya then gives a promise to Victorique to take her outside and see the sea again.
Victorique opens her eyes and tells him to not break his promise, before closing them again.
(In order of appearance)
- This is the first time one of Victorique's relatives is shown, in the name of Grevil de Blois.
- The incident involving the death of Mistress Roxanne in the hands of Lee (the Arabian maid) is linked to the events aboard the Queen Berry.
- The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was the proximate trigger of the First World War. This event is presumably foretold by Roxane, along with the outcome of the war, with the surviving participants of the "Running of the Hares" symbolizing the countries who will be victorious in the war. However, Lee, the possible representative of the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), is not noted.