The Let's Play Archive


by OddHaberdasher

Part 74: Dead On Arrival

Part 74 - Dead On Arrival

When you got down to it, right now I was only setting myself up as some kind of tragic hero. Even if I drowned in grief here, I wouldn't earn anyone's sympathy.

Everyone refused to look at the likes of me. Everyone had cast me aside.

No, there hadn't been any bond between us from the start. I didn't have anyone I could call a friend. I didn't even have a family.

Because in the end, I was an impostor.

"Doing nothing but rambling on and on...."

Come on, just die already.

I tied a circle about big enough to go around my neck, and bound the other end to one of the pipes in the frame of my loft bed.

"Hehe, hehehe...."
"I'll die.... I'm gonna die.... I'm definitely gonna die...."

No one was there to stop me. Naturally enough, since I was the only person in the room.

I managed to affix the vinyl cord in such a way that it felt pretty sturdy. Dying had turned out to be surprisingly easy, I thought to myself.

Going by the height of my loft bed, standing normally wouldn't be sufficient for hanging myself.

But if I threw my legs out, height would cease to be a problem. The only thing it required was mental preparedness to die.

In the end, I looked at Seira-tan, smiling at me from atop the desk.

The only ones seeing me off were my wives, Seira-tan foremost among them, but also the others lined up on the shelves in huge numbers.

Miserable. Lonely. The depths of my nose stung.


I flung my legs out to make the cord take on my full body weight.

It tightened around my neck. The cord put pressure on me. It dug deep into my flesh.

It hurt...!

"Hah, guh, giih, geh....!"

"G, gya, gah....!"

My throat ached. The pain of the noose eating into my neck was much worse than my difficulty breathing.

Hurry.... Hurry up and die, me....

The agony went on. It was so torturous, my consciousness wouldn't fade, not even a tiny bit.

My body swung. It twirled around and around in an unsightly manner. Which made my legs flap.

The pipes in the frame of my loft bed creaked noisily.

"Gahah, cough, cough, ugeh, higuh...."

"Gafuh, heguh, uu...."
"Haa, haa.... what the fuck...."
"Seriously, what the fuck...."

Why did I fuck up at the last possible moment....

Yes, I was undoubtedly an incorrigible human being, a useless human being who'd never succeeded in doing a single thing deserving of others' praise. Not that I was even a human being in the first place.

But it was too much, to mess up even when it came to dying.... Why couldn't I die?

Even though I wanted to die. Even though I wanted to die....!

Now that I'd experienced the anguish of hanging in midair once, the daring and willpower needed for giving hanging myself another go wouldn't rise up in me.

"Someone, tell me.... a painless way to die...."

I came close to retching at myself, and how I had again exposed my total reliance on others.

It was like they had taken in an excess of life and death during the day, and were using this time to regain their balance.

Hospitals at this time of night bore neither the scent of life nor the scent of death. All that existed there was an empty tranquility.

But that aside, he found it to be especially quiet today.

It still shouldn't have been time for lights-out yet, but the illumination in the corridors had been turned off, and he couldn't see a single nurse.

Since the moment he set foot in the lobby, Ban had been keenly feeling a bad premonition. He had no basis for it. It was what people call a detective's intuition, but

Maybe, in order to distract himself from that premonition, he had ended up thinking about things that one might even call curiously spiritual.

While taking a cab to this hospital, he'd dialed Suwa's cell many times.

It never went through, however, and that itself plainly demonstrated the danger of his junior's situation.

Plus, he had to do it without catching the kidnapper's notice.

The sound of footsteps would echo off linoleum floors. Before entering the lobby, Ban had taken off the leather shoes he'd been wearing.

Winter was pressing close at hand in the current season. Ban couldn't help but shudder at the chill that came up from the floor, passing through his socks.


The sliding noise of the automatic doors at the entrance resounded through the lobby. Next came the voice of a girl calling Ban's name.

It's hard to understand through screenshots, but Yua's entrance was Loud and echoed a bit. Any hope Ban had of sneaking in unnoticed is probably lost.

Yua anxiously ran her eyes, deep behind her glasses, around the area.

"Hey, why'd you follow me. I told you guys to go to ground."
"I'm sorry.... but I...."

Ban looked around for Momose. But she wasn't anywhere.

Awakening to the fact that this girl had come on her own, he scratched his head, his face perplexed.

"Go back right this instant. This isn't a game."
"I, I understand that...."
"If you understand, then go home--"

SFX: Squeak, Squeak

A dim, empty corridor. From the center of it rolled a wheelchair without anyone to sit in it, advancing on Ban and Yua.

Almost simultaneously, there also came the sound of someone sprinting up the stairs.

"Anyway, Yua-chan, go home! Okay!?"

He carried himself with such swiftness, one couldn't possibly have envisioned it from his usual lack of enthusiasm.

Like a garden, it had been provided with plantings. Doubtless it was a space for helping to soothe patients, but unfortunately, it didn't seem to come with nighttime lighting, and he couldn't see what kinds of flowers were growing there.


Also, since it was the roof and all, it had a strong wind. Short of breath, Ban quickly studied his surroundings.

The man who'd made the footsteps had definitely fled here, but now his form had unexpectedly disappeared.

--Did he do a neat job of luring me up here?

As he ran away, the man had made so much noise, it sounded almost deliberate. The only thing it could signify was that he'd been attempting to entice Ban to follow him.

He sucked in a breath. Sweat was seeping from his forehead, and he wiped it away with his fingers.

One step at a time, he continued toward the center of the rooftop garden.

From the shadows of the plantings to the shadows of the benches, there were potential hiding spots all over the place.

Ban honed all his nerves, so as to be able to respond no matter which direction he got attacked from.

The center of the garden was a round plaza, and a number of benches were set up along its outskirts.

Paying even more careful attention to his surroundings, Ban slowly walked up to that bench. As he approached, the object's shape grew distinct enough for him to recognize it.

A human's decapitated head--

Ban had taken charge of dismemberment homicide cases a number of times, and this evoked in him past memories of seeing the same thing in photographs.

His sense of foreboding was growing stronger and stronger.

When he thought about how it might be Suwa's head, fury and aggravation at the criminal rose in him, simmering.

The cold night wind blew past him.


Its suddenness made him flinch. Normally, he was supposed to lower his body and look in the direction the sound had come from, but he couldn't even carry out those actions.


To put it more accurately.

There was no longer any need for him to carry out such actions.

Feeling a burning pain in his chest, Ban touched his hand to it.

A damp sensation.

He'd been shot--

The instant he became aware of this, his legs went limp.

SFX: A pair of footsteps casually approach Ban.

A black shadow. Holding a handgun. The darkness kept him from recognizing that face.

A voice.

He'd heard it before.

Suwa Mamoru said mockingly, walking past the clumsily fallen Ban.

"Yep. Man, guess this is where I oughta get congratulated for firing my first shot on the job, huh."

Grinning, Suwa casually picked up the "object" set on the bench.

"By the way, Sempai, you were focusin' awfully hard on this. Was it that unusual to you?"

Coming back up to Ban's side, Suwa held the black helmet in front of Ban's eyes as though to flaunt it.

As Ban smiled bitterly, most of his sight had already turned hazy. The sensation at the ends of his limbs had gone terribly cold. His chest hurt, but it wasn't agonizing.

He sensed the presence of an intense "gaze," but he'd lost the ability to determine whether it was coming from Suwa or some other person.

Knowing his life would only hold out for a few more minutes, Ban forced his body to roll over on his back as it grew rapidly heavier and heavier.

But it was cloudy, and he couldn't see the stars. Then again, even if the stars had come out, he'd already lost the ability to see them.

As he coughed, the taste of blood spread through his mouth.

"And you irritated the fuckin' hell out of me, Sempai."

Ban's breathing steadily grew shallower. Air leaked from his throat with a hissing sound. His eyes no longer seized on anything.

Ban's final question, as his consciousness faded away. Suwa answered it while pointing the barrel of the gun down at him.

"A wizard."

At some point, the wind had stopped. In the midst of the abruptly calm darkness. Two figures went still.

But that too lasted for only a moment.

Suwa's finger slowly tightened around the trigger.


Not Pictured: Ten seconds of Takumi typing variants of 'kill me' in an empty chat room.


Grim-san has entered the room
Current members: 2

Neidhardt: kill me
Neidhardt: kllmr
Grim: lol wut
Neidhardt: KILL ME
Neidhardt: KILL M
Grim: Now you get all emo? lol
Neidhardt: kill me
Grim: Or did a real live girl reject you?
Neidhardt: Kill me
Grim: Then lemme tell ya something good
Neidhardt: kill mE
Neidhardt: kll e
Neidhardt: kill me
Grim: If you stay a virgin till you're 30
Neidhardt: Killm
Neidhardt: KILL ME
Grim: You'll be able to use magic
Neidhardt: KILL Me
Neidhardt: kill me
Neidhardt: Kill me
Grim: Just a piece of trivia
Neidhardt: killMe
Neidhardt: kl m
Grim: While I'm at it
Neidhardt: kill me
Grim: The Shibuya scramble crossing
Neidhardt: Kill e
Neidhardt: KILL ME
Grim: They say something big's gonna start there in about an hour
Neidhardt: KLLme
Neidhardt: kill me
Neidhardt: Kill me
Grim: Jesus fucking christ. lol
Neidhardt: Kill me
Grim: Go to the party, then
Neidhardt: kill mE
Neidhardt: kilme
Grim: You're a celeb, so you'll be the center of everyone's attention
Grim: If you're there, they might do ya a favor and kill ya, hm?

"Kill.... me.... somebody...."

Meanwhile, in the background:

"C'mon, bro!"
"Heeeey! Open up--!"

In my hand was my sole ally, Seira-tan.

Because I'd been gripping her with my sweat-drenched hand for a while, her slender limbs had become completely damp. And her arm had gotten all bent out of shape.


It couldn't be. How....?

"Bro, you idiot--!"

I hadn't misheard it. Out of the girls who visited this base, there was only one imbecile who yelled at the top of her lungs from outside like this.

Nanami had come....

And I was somewhat surprised at myself for experiencing absolutely no deep emotion in response.

Whatever, it doesn't matter.... was what I'd begun to think. Nothing would change just became Nanami had come over here now.

Besides, there was nothing especially mysterious about her coming here. Hadn't Rimi said something about going off to save her?

"Things will get really bad, if you won't open it!"

Her noisiness ticked me off. Leave a monster like me in peace.

Nanami was only thinking about her own right hand. Not that I had any idea what had become of it....

I couldn't get in the mood to talk with other people anymore.


Positive, Negative or Neutral?