Pawns on a board.
Manipulation has been one of the major ways in which the Baron has plagued the town and forced it to bow to his will. Sadly for him, Moriarty is a far bigger con-man.
Things crumble for the Baron as Moriarty turns everyone against him, using carefully placed pawns at every juncture to distract him.
Liss manages to craft an engaging character study of Moriarty, though not without going to tired tropes and clichés, not to mention actions that suit the situation.
Furuzono’s artwork isn’t the most captivating or engrossing, but it does its work.
Even as Moriarty throws his smoking gun and leaves, he ruminates on every play he’s made since coming to this town.
Following his former host Kurt’s tracks, he is able to go in front and block his passage, thus starting his final act.
Back at the Baron’s mansion, his torture of Udo continues but is stopped by the entry of his right hand man (who we learn has lost his left eye thanks to Udo) and a servant.
Apparently the townspeople are in the lawn with the body of the Mayor, led by Kurt. Even as the Baron tries reassuring the people he is trying his best, his arrogance gets the better of him and calls them ‘riffraff’, thus providing scope to Kurt and co for blaming him for everything. Suddenly, the Mayor’s ‘corpse’ gets up and blames the Baron for everything. This starts a mob attack on the mansion.
Moriarty’s interjection saves Udo from the Baron’s men and they escape (through not before Udo plunges the scalpel into the right eye of the one-eyed servant).
They leave for the safe, but the Baron is already there – and he sees his wife trying to steal it! Before the Baron can do any damage to his spouse, he is distracted by Moriarty behind him, drinking wine. The Baron in his overconfidence attempts to electrocute him, but Moriarty’s successful attempt to douse him with wine leaves him dead.
Moriarty, Udo and the Baroness make their way out of town with the money, and are taken by Kurt’s carriage.
At the Reichbach Falls, they stop and reminisce of the things Moriarty has done since he was swept by the waves into their town. A share of the money is debated, but before anyone can consider a share, Udo throws the bag into the Falls.
Kurt attempts to kill him, but Moriarty reveals that Udo has kept the valuables under the shirt. They then divide the money, and Moriarty parts from them, saying he has a date with a former friend who he believes is alive as well.
This series felt like Moriarty’s testament to the Baron about his treasure – mostly worthless, through not without a few gems. We did get to the bottom of the mystery of the key, but the details were left too vague.
The flow of this series has been a concern as well, forcing characters to react to the situation instead of their own sensibilities. The Baron has been portrayed as a cunning fox and a stupid ass as per the requirement.
I did like how Moriarty used the townspeople to get his way, but he came across often as too sympathetic, as if Liss didn’t want to alienate the readers from the protagonist.
The artwork wasn’t much, but okay.
So, I give it 6.5 out of 10.
+A good display of Moriarty’s manipulative skills
+Udo and Moriarty interplay
-The artwork is passable
-Some convoluted scenarios
-Moriarty came across as too sympathetic