The Let's Play Archive


by OddHaberdasher

Part 76: Guest Of Honour

Part 76 - Guest Of Honour

"Ahaha. Bro, cut out the silly jokes."

That reaction wasn't like Nanami.

Normally, rather than laughing and letting it slide, there was no doubt that she'd get pissed off and preach at me, "Don't say that kind of thing, moron!"

Well, it wasn't like I cared....

It didn't matter. If she wouldn't kill me, I no longer had any business with this Nanami. I wouldn't mind if she vanished right away.

Seira-tan and I gazed at each other. If Seira-tan were three-dimensional, she would surely be delighted to grant my wish.

If I were going to be born as a delusionary existence anyway, I'd have wanted to be born in the second dimension....

"Hey, joking aside.... um, I have something to tell you...."
"Um, see, I lost the bangle I got from you...."
"Do, don't tell me I probably didn't take good care of it anyway, or something. I wouldn't do that kind of thing. I really treasured it...."
"But I don't know where I lost it...."

Hmph, she'd treasured such a thing? How comical. From my perspective, there had to be a limit to how comical she could get.

When you got down it, it was something I'd given her. That sort of thing had no value.

"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."

For starters, there was reason to suspect whether or not I'd given Nanami the bracelet in the first place. Even that event may have been imaginary.

Therefore, nothing in this world had any value. Nothing appearing in my memories had any value.

"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."
"Even though it was the first present you ever gave me."
"Why'd I have to lose it...."
"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."
"Bro? You listening?"
"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."

OST: Pity

"....Bro, why are you always like that?"

Head lowered. Fists clenched. Nanami muttered.

"Once in a while.... show me some brotherly part of you, something worth relying on...."

What.... you've come barking up the wrong tree if you're gonna accuse me. Because I'm a delusionary existence.

"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."

All I stared at was Seira-tan's smile.

There was no need to hear out what Nanami had to say. No point in listening. Because I'm a delusionary existence.

"The whole time up till now.... I thought I had to be dependable, and I tried my best."
"But in the end.... even I want.... someone to pamper me every so often."
"No, not just anyone...."
"I want you to pamper me...."
"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."
"Cause you're my bro...."
"Even I think about wanting to lean on my brother, you know....?"
"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."
"Well, I guess you hate how I'm always, always telling you to do this and do that, but...."
"I can't help it, cause you're so sloppy...."
"No, that's not what I'm trying to say...."
"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."
"There are times when even I want you to listen to me whining and complaining, or times when I want to cry, you know....?"
"There are times when I want you to be nice to me, you know....?"
"I'm not a delusion.... I'm not a delusion...."
"Hey, Bro...."
"Listen to what I have to say....!"
"Right now.... I'm really sad, you know?"
"I lost my precious bangle.... which I got from you...."
"I'm so sad, and it hurts so much.... I wanna burst out crying...."
"And though I'd like you to hug me...."
"And though I'd like you to pet me on the head and comfort me...."
"Say, Bro...."
"Just for today, let me have my way...."
"Uuu.... sob...."


She sensed no one nearby.

Which was natural enough, considering "what kind of place" this was, but when she thought about what waited ahead for her, Rimi ended up wanting someone to be here.


Immediately in front of her was a soundproof door, the kind found in movie theaters. Coldness came floating from the crack beneath it. Along with a white mist akin to dry ice.

"So it's going to be okay...."
"So you mustn't be afraid...."

An eerie noise resounded faintly through the room's spacious interior. It was low, a sound like a beast growling. A sound signifying that the "device" was in operation.

"Noah II...."
"It's already running...."
"Thanks to you."

A voice responded to the antipathy in Rimi's monologue.

The instant that voice reached her ears, Rimi felt her soul quake.


Rimi's instincts harbored terror. Trembling surged up from the depths of her heart.

Hateful memories assaulted her. Her shadowed past seemed about to resurrect itself.

Shaking her head lightly and clenching her Di-Sword harder to endure it, Rimi swept her gaze toward the direction where the voice had come from.

Nishijou Nanami was being held captive there.

Her torn uniform, the blood-soaked bandage on her right wrist, her limply hanging head. Her horribly pallid complexion.

She made such a painful sight, Rimi lost all words.

Like the crucified Jesus of Nazareth.

No, that which captured Nanami wasn't something one could call a cross. It was a long way off, with so much malice filling its shape.

All the evil in this world--
All the chaos in this world--
All the corruption in this world--

It wouldn't have been an exaggeration to say that it represented all of them in a tangible form.

"But it will be troublesome if you get in the way overmuch."

That man--Norose Genichi--had a placid manner of speaking, but his voice encompassed a blade-like sharpness.

Frantically keeping herself from sinking down on the spot, Rimi glared at him.

"Let Nana-chan go."
"Hoh. Don't tell me you came here for the sake of saving your friend?"
"....Let Nana-chan go."
"She has nothing to do with it."

Norose's suggestion confused Rimi.

She was bluffing now, but the instant she saw Norose's face, her heart had awoken to fear, and her legs had begun quivering. Incapable of moving, she called out to Nanami, pinned up there.


Nanami's head twitched.

"Are you all right? I'm coming to rescue you now, so...."

Midway through Rimi's sentence, Nanami's face contorted in anguish. She went white and took ragged breaths.

"Uu.... uuu...."
"It hurts...."
"My right hand.... it hurts...."

With a slither. Nanami's body slipped down from the cross.

"Hey, Rimi.... san...."

Lying down, lifting only her head, Nanami made her gaze drift about. As if she were searching for something--

"Do you know.... where my bangle.... is....?"
"I can't find it...."
"My bangle.... isn't anywhere...."

Staggering upright, this time she began feeling around the area with her left hand.

"My hand.... my hand hurts.... uu...."
"Why do I.... know about you.... Rimi-san....? Have we met somewhere before....?"
"Rimi-san.... Rimi-san, right....? Rimi-san, you have my bangle...."
"No way.... why.... you're so.... horrible...."

He was silently watching Rimi and Nanami's exchange, a mocking smile on his lips.

"What are you 'showing' Nana-chan!?"

A bloodstained bandage. It almost looked as if her hand were connected.

But one scarlet droplet after another dripped and fell from it, without stopping.

SFX: Drip, drip, drip...

She needed treatment quickly--

On the reverse side of her sense of urgency, Rimi wasn't able to draw any closer. Because approaching Nanami also meant approaching that man. It frustrated her so much, she found herself on the verge of weeping.

"Rimi-san, you have it....?"
"Nana-chan, let's go. Come over here."
"Why did you take it....?"
"Give it back.... Give Nana's bangle back...."
"Calm down, Nana-chan!"
"My treasure.... Bro.... gave it to me...."
"I don't wanna hand it over to anyone...."
"Give it back.... Give it back...."

Together with her cry of lamentation.

With the drop at its core, a material like some kind of mineral came flying out of nothingness.

Almost as though an inorganic carapace were ripping through a rift in space.

In the blink of an eye, it came together to form a single shape.

Or else--

Standing perpendicularly, as though to reject everything before it--a sword.

"This is.... a Di-Sword....!"
"Give it.... back.... Please...."

Nanami held that sword to her chest as though embracing it. Her tears overflowed in sorrow, falling toward it. The Di-Sword blinked a brilliant red, as if it were her pulse.

"If you don't, Rimi-san.... I won't forgive you...."

OST: Pity

"Uuu.... sob...."

Nanami was crying. Even while she hung her head and fought to withstand it. Tears kept falling from her bitterly.

I took a single glance at her. Then soon returned my line of sight to the ceiling, resuming the task of counting up the rusty spots.

"Whether or not you cry at me.... I can't do anything...."
"Because I'm a delusionary existence...."
"A delusionary...."
"Don't say that kind of thing!"
"You can't be a delusion! Cause I knew you when you were little....!"
"I always had to take care of you, and you weren't even a tiny bit dependable, but...."
"But you were always together with me, since a long time ago...."

I see.... It was as Nanami said.

Rimi wasn't the one in the right. Nanami was the one in the right.

If Nanami were the real thing, then so was I.

"Nana, mi...."

I extended my hands toward Nanami. Nanami's existence was now my sole hope. Hers was the only existence that could deliver me.

"Save me.... Nanami.... Save me...."
"Bro.... sob...."

If Nanami's warmth were real. I could prove I was myself.

The forlornly weeping Nanami wiped her tears,

Looked at me with reddened eyes, put on a tearful smile,

"You'll.... hold me....?"

I nodded. Over. And over.

"Nanami.... save me...."

Wanting to feel her warmth as soon as possible. I slowly circled my arms around the body that came leaping toward my chest.

Tighter, Tighter--


The blood dripping from the bandage on her wrist slid slowly down the gutter formed by her sword.

"It hurts...."
"Did you know Nana-chan was a Gigalomaniac?"

Rimi's question was aimed at Norose, who feigned being a mere bystander.

No matter how much she glared at him, his face remained cool.

"You might call it a boon of happenstance."
"Even though you've done such horrible things to Nana-chan....! What do you mean, happenstance!"

"But then, when it comes to Nishijou Takumi alone, that manual doesn't hold valid, either. There's nothing more difficult than the handling of an irregular monster."
"Don't call him a monster....!"
"Because you are a monster as well?"
"I didn't say anything like that."
"I should have phrased it as, 'Because you are one born from nothingness.'"

In spite of her thinking she had to save Nanami, her feet remained rooted to the floor and wouldn't move for her.

Norose, on the other hand, was the very picture of calm as he appreciatively caressed Nanami on the head.

Nanami hasn't shown any reaction. Face lowered, she repeated her shallow breaths.

"A spotlight illuminating a single point in the middle of darkness."
"An infinite number of corpses must be lying around it, but no one can see them. You yourself included."
"....Stop that sort of talk."
"For instance, if you committed suicide.... the spotlight would shift a few dozen centimeters to the side, and you would be covered in darkness."
"And 'somebody' who knew nothing would bathe in the spotlight instead."
"Stop it!"

"It hurts...."
"I want you to release Nana-chan."
"I seem to recall removing her restraints?"
"I'm going to take her and leave."
"Do as you please. I'm already through with her."
"Nana-chan, let's go home, okay? Make that sword go away."
"Then give me back my bangle...."
"I'll give it back, so...."

The night Nanami's hand had been delivered to Takumi's room.

After Takumi trembled in humiliation atop the roof of O-Front and collapsed there.

Rimi had retrieved the hand from inside his fridge.

Now "Shogun" had it. He had preserved it, freezing it so it wouldn't rot. The bangle, too, was there--

"Bro.... gave it to me."
"It's Nana's bangle...."
"It's so mean of you.... to take it away on your own...."

Nanami's voice, whose words had also sounded like those uttered in delirium, grew more and more savage.

"Calm down, take deep breaths. Get a firm hold of yourself."
"A question for you."

Norose's abrupt interjection. Rimi inwardly clicked her tongue.


Rimi lowered her eyes.

In opposition, Nanami raised her gaze. Light had returned to her once-empty eyes. It was so fiery as to be described as deviant--


It was as though the lights had been cut.

Rimi didn't know whether it was something done deliberately, or an accident.

"You can't lose...."

Rimi murmured, as if to encourage herself.

Her voice made the air tremble, but it soon melted into the darkness.

She noticed she had stopped hearing that growling sound from "Noah II."

--She hated the dark. Because it made her recollect memories of "that time."

Rimi turned her head. What spread out before her was an endlessly deep darkness. Not a single thing one might call light existed there.

Could she see nothing because her surroundings were dark? Or was she not seeing anything because her vision wasn't working?

She lost even her sense of up and down.

She no longer had understood where she was.

Darkness invaded her five senses, and she lost her ability to distinguish her own physical body.

Or else it was as though her flesh had transfigured to vapor.

As though her consciousness were spilling out of its vessel.

The past and the present melted together, and her memories began intermingling.

When was now? When was the past?

A single beam of light shone into a world, covered in a perfect blackness.

In the center of that circular spotlight. Rimi hugged her knees.

Rimi looked at this from the midst of the darkness.

It was the same as that time--

That time--

Rimi had possessed nothing. Before she knew it, she was being confined and tortured. Her psychological agony was worse than the physical agony.

Hellish days. Days of only enduring it.

Rimi knew nothing of who she had been before then.

When and how had they imprisoned her? How long had they been torturing her?

Rimi didn't know. She had a feeling that it wasn't amnesia.

She felt as though--the instant she unexpectedly awoke, the consciousness known as herself had been born.

Maybe the personality that had resided in this body until then had wanted to escape the overwhelming hardship, and had committed suicide inside her own delusions.

And maybe the current Rimi had then been born as a new personality.

Maybe there had been many different personalities before her.

Maybe even the name "Sakihata Rimi" was in truth something different each time.

--To myself, I don't exist.

She sensed something moving in the darkness. Rimi stood up and dragged herself toward its presence. When she moved, the spotlight followed her.

The real identity of that presence--

Was a dead Rimi, lying down there. Without looking at Rimi, Rimi murmured,

"Which number are you?"
"I am...."

Rimi's eyeballs twitched wildly. Tears overflowed incessantly from the corners of her eyes.

Her Di-Sword slipped and fell from her hands. Rimi sank down in place with a thump.

Like a child, covering her face with her hands, feebly shaking her head.

--I'm sorry.

--I didn't last.

SFX: In the background, the sound of a Porter Noah II Terminal can be heard.

Nanami had disappeared without a trace.

She had dissolved into bubbles before my eyes. She hadn't existed as anything of substance.

"Nana.... Na, nami.... where are you.... co, come on out.... hehe.... he...."
"Y, you must be there, pulling m, my leg again, huh.... hehehe.... you, you're hiding.... qu, quit it.... hehe.... hehehehe...."

Tears made my sight go fuzzy. No matter how I wiped them and wiped them, they kept welling up.... hot droplets.

But even this heat. And even the emotions making me weep.

Were delusions.

Because I myself was a delusion.

"He, hey, when.... will I wa, wake up from this delusion....? Hurry, wake up...."

I myself didn't really know who I was talking to. But in any case, I wanted someone to listen to me, and I didn't care who.

"Wh, when I wake up from this delusion, it, it'll turn out that I'm re, really a total stud, of, of course I am.... with a sensible little sister and a ge, gentle big sister...."
"Go, going out with my cute girlfriend...."
"And she won't be a batshit crazy chick like Ri, Rimi or Sena.... she'll be a good girl like Se, Seira-tan.... hehehe....."

"I, I wanna die.... Uuu, I wanna die...."
"Why won't a, anyone ki, kill me...."
"Hey, Seira-tan.... kill.... kill me...."
"You wanna die that badly?"
"I wanna die.... I can't.... take this anymore.... I can't stand.... my own existence..... I don't wanna think about anything.... I don't wanna go on living...."
"Poor widdle Takkii."
"Then I'll tell you a way you can get yourself killed real soon."

Ahh, just as expected from a wife of mine.... Seira-tan always showed me tireless devotion.

"For the time being, head on outside."
"Out.... side?"

I harbored no doubts about doing so. Seira-tan was the only one who would never betray me. Because she was my bride. Because she wasn't a 3-D girl.

"Follow this sound."
"If I follow it.... will someone.... kill me?"
"Yep, pretty much."
"I, I wonder if they'll kill me gently...."
"I guarantee it~"
"That's great...."
"I can fi, finally die.... hehe, hehehe...."

This sound was my Messiah. The key to my salvation, inviting me toward a more restful land.

Holding Seira-tan, I began walking in the direction the noise was coming from.

When I seemed about to catch up, it would rapidly go far away. When I seemed about to lose track of where it was coming from, it would approach me and wait for me.

Like it had a will of its own.

A sound with its own will--

It was evocative of "Shogun," and his face flickered at the back of my brain, but I soon stopped caring either way.

Whether or not it was him, I didn't mind who it turned out to be, so long as they were going to kill me.

I also stopped thinking about what the sound's true form might be. I was going to die in a little while anyway, and I was a delusionary existence, so there was no meaning in my pondering it.

Making the inside of my head a white blank, I all but unconsciously reeled my way after the sound, like a moth swarming in the direction of light.

SFX: Wherever Takumi has wandered, there's a lot of people and they're very excited about something or other. The Noah II Terminal can still be heard, but the crowd makes that difficult.

I had a start.

I realized the tumult came from the astoundingly huge crowd of people flooding this intersection.

They were pretty much packed together like sardines. Everyone was pushing and shoving, like on the morning train to work.

It was an even greater number of people than at the time of my live broadcast from atop O-Front.

Come to think of it, Grim had posted about it in our chat. That there'd be a major party at the scramble crossing tonight.

Seira, what's going on? I only have nasty memories of this place. Why'd you take me here....

"Revenge, baby."

Besides, where's the person who's supposed to kill me?

"Right in front of your eyes~"
"In front of my.... eyes...."

A stunningly large crowd. On this chilly autumn night.

This is the final Delusion Trigger. From the next update on, it's more or less a straight line to the ending (or an ending). Make your choice:

Positive, Negative or Neutral?