Part 91: Chapter 4 Daily Life, Part 7
: We're running low on people to talk to in Free Time now. It doesn't help that of the people still alive our choices are even more limited right now. Sakura is too tired to do Free Time and Kyoko is still mad at us and will just leave as soon as you talk to her.
: As such, we're going to keep talking with Byakuya.
: What's the matter? Thinking about who you might like to kill?
: Well, choose wisely. In this game, loss means nothing less than death.
> Spend some time with Byakuya
: Fine. I don't mind allowing you to indulge in my attention. I hope you appreciate this.
I spent some time with Byakuya. Byakuya and I grew a little closer today.
> Yes, definitely
Old Timey Radio: A radio with a retro exterior but state-of-the-art technology inside. Of course, there's no reception in the school, so you can't hear anything anyway.
: You...you bastard! How did you get your hands on this!? Even the collective force of the entire Togami corporation wouldn't be enough to obtain this gem!
: (I have like, seven more of these...)
: I...I'm going to hold on to this!
Seeing Byakuya so please with something I gave him makes me happy!
: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
: It's a proverb. It means if you can only obtain something inferior, that's still better than longing for something better.
: Yeah, I know what it means. But...so what?
: Put another way, if all you have nearby is a loser, that's better than a proper assistant far away.
: Makoto. Be my secretary.
: A useless commoner like you could never hop to earn more than, say, 100,000 dollars a year. But as my secretary, you would be guaranteed an ample salary and job security for the rest of your life. And in honor of it being my birthday today, how about I multiply your already impossible expectations by, oh, 5.5?
100,000 dollars times 5.5? You mean...?
> 550,000 dollars?
550,000 dollars!? That's like, board member money!
: Of course, as my secretary you wouldn't be a mere servant. At some point, I would want you to become an actual assistant, taking the lead on important projects. Assuming you produce acceptable results, you could even become a core part of the Togami Corporation.
: You have no reason to refuse.
This is all so sudden... I don't get why... But he seems serious about it... Still, I...
: I'm sorry, but I'm gonna hafta say no.
: ...I'm trying to give you a chance to enter the battlefield of life and claim victory. Most commoners will never get that chance. This is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Do you understand? This is your chance. This is your one and only chance to rise above the 99%.
: Are you really so scared of having to fight, to compete, in order to win?
: It's not that I'm scared... It's that I want to succeed based on my own effort. I want to find my own battlefield... I don't want it handed to me--I want to earn it. I want to find something I'm willing to fight and die for. That's the only way I'll be satisfied.
: ...Then you meant what you said earlier. That if you can live a life that you're satisfied with, that's all that matters...
: Hmm... I'm glad to see you passed my test.
: Huh? Your test?
: That's right. The mere thought of someone like you as my secretary makes me physically ill.
: Wait, so then...
: The salary offer still stands, of course. It's yours if you want it. I don't need you spreading rumors that Byakuya Togami doesn't honor his word.
So he'd basically be paying me...to do nothing? In a way...I almost regret my decision.
: But I must say, I just don't understand you. You don't want to fight, and yet you don't flee from the battle, either.
: It's like I said... For me, happiness comes from living the life I want to live.
: Hmph. Easy enough to say. Now you have to enforce your will until the very end.
: If you can do that, if you can make it to the end, I'm afraid I'll be forced to acknowledge you...
: Then that's exactly what I'll do. Someday, absolutely...
: I don't expect much from you, but I'll be waiting.
: This Free Time gives us SP+1. I actually went and looked up Byakuya's date of birth in the supplemental materials for this game and it's listed as May 5th. The 5.5x salary thing makes a lot more sense now. I don't know much about when Japanese schools start their terms but would May 5th make sense as a date shortly after the beginning of a new term for the students? I'm just curious if there's consistency here.
Once we were all done, I headed back to my room for a little while...
I have plenty of time... I don't feel like just sitting here. I should go somewhere...
: The same people are still unavailable to us for Free Time so let's go ahead and finish up Byakuya's Free Time Events. He has five events in total and this is the fifth one.
: The others have flocked together as usual, I see.
: But they need to be careful. Growing too close will only cloud their judgment.
> Spend some time with Byakuya
> Yes, definitely
Millenium Prize Problems: These seven important mathematical problems were posed by the Clay Mathematics Institute, with a reward of one million dollars for each one solved.
: I've gone ahead and skipped all of these interactions because they are the same as the ones in the previous Free Time.
: ...How do you still not understand?
: ...Understand what?
: I've been sacrificing all this valuable time of mine for *your* sake. But it's all amounted to nothing. We simply have nothing to talk about. We could talk forever and a day, and I would gain nothing from it.
: B-But, the more we come to understand each other--
: You and I will *never* understand each other. We live in different worlds. Our ways of life, our ways of thinking are totally incompatible. You're a loser. So go ahead and live your loser life, make a bunch of loser friends. Then together, you can lick each other's loser wounds.
: You don't have to keep saying loser...
: Whether your self-indulgence is a lie or not, it doesn't matter. Whatever happens, I'm going to keep on fighting, and I'm going to keep on winning.
: That's one thing that will never change.
: But having to win all the time... Doesn't that make your life kinda hard?
: Such is the fate of the chosen.
: Listen, I've been meaning to ask you... You keep talking about "the chosen"... What does that mean, exactly? The way you say it, it seems a lot heavier than how I'd normally think of it...
: Fine. If I'm going to waste my time with you anyway, I may as well explain this one last thing. I'll tell you how I became known as the Ultimate Affluent Progeny...
There's a story behind that...?
: It has to do with the secret to the Togami family's prosperity. Our success comes from our family's rather...peculiar inheritance system.
: Peculiar inheritance--what do you mean?
: You see, our family head never takes a wife. Rather, he couples with exceptional women the world over, in order to bear as many children as possible.
All over the world...?
: They then make the children compete, and only one can come out on top. And whoever it is...earns the right to become the next head of the family.
: You mean...you have to fight your own brothers and sisters!?
: For my battle, there were fifteen of us in total. When all was said and done, only one was still standing--the youngest brother. Me.
: In the entire history of the Togami family, the youngest male had never won.
Jeez, that sounds brutal. I can't even imagine something like that...
: So, now do you understand? I won my title in open combat. *That* is how I became the Ultimate Affluent Progeny. I was not born into greatness. I had to earn it.
: I put my life on the line, and I *earned* the right to be called the chosen.
: You put your life on the line...? Then...what about your siblings?
: I don't mean that literally, of course. They become dead to the family, unfit for the name of Togami.
: Of course, for them it really is like death. They're forced to become one of the 99%. One of *you*.
: But it must've been really hard, right?
: You can't even imagine. Which is why the survivor is recognized as the chosen. When you take over as the head of the family, all the weight of that family comes to rest on your shoulders.
: That is how dedicated I am. I am forever dedicated to keep on winning. And so I shall. Otherwise, I would only feel pity for those I'd already defeated.
Byakuya pretty much said he carries the weight of always having to win... Winning comes natural to him...
: All I'll say at this point, is that I'm going to win *this* game, too. It's been a long time since I've had so much fun. I need to get as much enjoyment out of it as possible.
: And in the end, I will stand victorious. I won't lose to the mastermind or you or anyone else. Even as the rest of you fall one by one, I will live and I will win.
: As long as my name is Byakuya Togami.
The finality of his statement left no room for doubt or question. Nobody but Byakuya could talk that way and sound so convincing. But because of him, it seems possible that maybe that *is* his fate... Honestly, the more I talk to him, the more I see how far apart we are. At the same time, I feel like I understand him that much more... At least...I *think* I do...
: Now let me be crystal clear--we no longer have anything to talk about. Do not come to me like this again. Goodbye, loser.
I can't imagine any way Byakuya and I could ever become friends in this lifetime...
: This final free time gives us another SP+1.
: Additionally, in the Report Card section of the menu, Byakuya's card is now marked with a star to signal that his Free Time Events are completed. It also gives you a Bronze Playstation Trophy titled The Game Hungers.
Byakuya Togami's Character Art
Once Byakuya was gone, I went back to my room.
♪ No Music. ♪
*Ding dong, bing bong*
: Attention! Attention! Please gather in the gym as soon as you possibly can! Quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly!
He made a special announcement...to ask us to come to the gym? And he sounded pretty serious about it, too...