The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 6: Melancholic Morning

BGM: Powerless

05/07 (MON), Early Morning
The most accurate way to describe how I felt when I woke up this morning would probably be “melancholic.” Granted, I'm not sure I even slept in the first place. But what I am sure of is that certain things I've forgotten have come back to me.

Wednesday, May 2nd: Naomi and I were on our way back to Lion House from school. We were trapped in a fire on the train at that time. That'd explain why fire is listed as my cause of death. And it was no dream. It was reality. The fact that I couldn't stop shaking after remembering it lent credence to its veracity. Even if my mind had forgotten, my body certainly hadn't. The fire broke out so fast that I barely had time to react, although I remember a feeling of relief at knowing that Naomi was safe.

As for how the fire happened, I'm not entirely sure. My body starts to quiver and I get headaches whenever I try to think back. However, I do recall a very specific bag and the keychain attached to it for some reason. It turns out that I did indeed meet Parca after my death, too. Like she said last night, I had already heard her explanation once before. There's no doubt it happened in that odd dream world, too.

I guess I've got no choice for the time being but to believe last night's dream and piece my memories together.

Ugh... I can't wrap my head around this at all...

Much as I'd like to be able to, this is the best I can manage right now. Even if I accept that it wasn't just a dream, there's still way too much I don't understand. I couldn't find a single noteworthy incident when I checked the Internet for any info about railway incidents on that date, either.

Parca did say that the cause of our deaths had been undone...

In other words, the fire that killed me never happened once I became a participant in Divine Selection. That's the only explanation.

That odd book's perched up on my bookshelf like always... I wonder if this one and the one that appeared in the Court of Fate are the same book? If so, that'd mean it makes its way between here and the dream world on its own.

Whatever. There's no point in overthinking things for now.

Still four cards in the book, too. Wait, four? That can't be right. Parca mentioned that we'd automatically obtain cards when we learned some accurate information. Something about giving thoughts a tangible form. The card detailing my cause of death isn't here for some reason... That's not all. Miharu turned out to be a participant as well, so she should have her own set of cards. I figured I would at least have the card with her full name since I know it, but I don't.

I wonder if there are some other conditions you need to meet...?

That isn't the main issue regarding her, though. I've been trying to keep myself from thinking about it, but it's about time I face reality. Only one of us can make it through Divine Selection.

That means either me or Miharu will need to be eliminated.

That being said, I'd like to talk to her first. There's the tiniest chance that this might've just been my imagination going wild. I eventually abandon my train of thought and get ready to go to school. I make toast for breakfast, but end up shoving it in the fridge because I can't summon the will to eat anything.


BGM: At Amecha Girls' University High School

Mornin', Rinny.

Mao's already in the classroom by the time I arrive.

Amecha Girls' University High School. Otherwise known as Amecha High. An apparently traditional school with facilities from kindergarten right up to college. It's co-ed through middle school, but at the high school level, all the boys have to go elsewhere. People seem to have this image of it being one of those stereotypical all-girls' Christian establishments, but it's not much different from the typical top-tier school.

Yesterday was fun, wasn't it?

Yeah... Fun...

I can't motivate myself to give a cheerful reply. What I saw last night refuses to leave my mind. Accepting the fact that I should be dead is proving to be a bit tricky.

Hey now, where's your enthusiasm? Still tired from yesterday?

Wouldn't be surprised considering how much we walked around.

Yeah, I ended up falling asleep as soon as I got back. Probably why I woke up super early this morning, too.

That'd explain why you're here on time on a Monday.

Whoa, there! Let's not imply that I'm always late on Mondays, even though it's true.

Talking to Mao helps to cheer me up a bit. If it turns out that last night wasn't just my imagination, then I really dunno what to do about it. I'm probably better off just living life like usual. Until I get the chance to speak with Miharu, at least.

Ironically enough, Miharu hasn't arrived by the time classes begin.


05/07 (MON), Noon)
In fact, she doesn't come to school at all. I've sent her a message, but it is listed as being unread. This, following what's happened last night, causes me to panic. Fortunately, Mao has some calming news for me.

Seems like Miharun skipped out today 'cuz she was feeling sick. She said she's in good enough shape to go to work, though.

Huh? She replied to you?

Yup. In a flash, too.

She never even read my message...

Uhh, hmm... That's weird. Maybe she missed it?

I make an expression that screams “you're so full of it” in response. She tries to avoid eye contact, but eventually gives in when I refuse to stop staring at her.

Did something happen between you two yesterday?

Huh? Yesterday...?

I can't help but repeat part of her question back at her. Don't tell me that Miharu's told her everything...!

You two were alone during the parade, right?

A wave of relief washes over me when I hear that. She's only talking about the amusement park. In that case, I can't think of anything in particular. Mao seems legitimately concerned, though.

I can tell that Miharun's got something on her mind.

...But what?

Who knows.

She wastes no time in reverting to feigned ignorance.

Come on, don't keep me out of the loop.

And here I was ready for something heavy, considering how rare it is to see Mao looking so serious.

I could tell you, but here's the thing... you're the only one that can solve her problem.

Why's that?

So... see ya later!

H-Hey! Wait!

Mao ignores me and trots right out of the classroom. She's not in any clubs, so it's common for her to head straight home after school. In fact, she rarely stops by Lion House, either. And I always get brushed off whenever I ask what she's been up to.


What's on her mind, exactly? Thinking back to it yesterday, she did look like she wanted to say something when we were alone. Considering the dream that followed, the two might be related. ...Which reminds me, Mao mentioned that Miharu would be going to work. I get what she's saying now. She really does care for her friends.

There's just one issue, though...

I find it hard to keep my concerns about where she works at bay. I know the name of the place and where it is, but... it's kind of hard to stroll in there. I mean, it's a restaurant by definition, but it's a bit different from your standard fare.

I'd be fine if Mao tagged along, but chances are she won't want to. After giving it some thought, I grab my phone and fire off a message.


BGM: Welcome Back, my Master E

05/07 (MON), Evening
Umm... Do you come to places like this often?

Nope, this is my first time. I was hoping to chat with Miharu since she works here, but...

Miharu's workplace is a maid cafe located in Akihabara. It's a small, privately run establishment, so the staff just has to wear maid outfits. Meaning none of the usual business you see from bigger outlets, but it still takes some courage to stroll in. There's no way I could have done it on my own, which is why I brought Naomi along as my sacrifice, of sorts. Unsurprisingly, all the customers are guys, which helps us to feel especially out of place.

I'd appreciate it if you learned to act a little more lady-like, Rinka.

Miharu sounds beyond exhausted as she drops off my coffee.

Sorry, but I needed to talk with you... no matter what. You didn't read the message I sent, so I decided I'd best come by when Mao said you'd be at work.

So it was her, huh? She messaged me this morning while I wasn't feeling too well, so I replied saying I should be able to make it to work. You messaged me this afternoon, didn't you?

Yup. During lunch break.

I forgot to charge my phone last night, so I had to turn it off while I let it charge today. Now I'm upset that I missed an ever-so-elusive message from you.

Oh, sorry. Here you go.

With that, she places Naomi's “warm and fluffy cocoa” in front of her. But she misses the coaster a little bit, which leads to her inadvertently slamming it down on the table. Naturally, this surprises some of the other customers, causing many of their gazes to turn our way.


Dear me, I'm awfully sorry.

Miharu turns to Naomi and delivers a polite bow. Naomi looks terrified, despite being on the receiving end of an apology.

Unlike Lion House, this isn't a place where you can sit down and relax, unfortunately. I wish you would have figured as much, based on the fact that it's a maid cafe... If you need to talk, then I'll pop by Lion House after my shift. Well, assuming you're fine with that, of course.

Yeah, that's fine. Sorry for bugging you...

But I gotta say, that maid outfit really suits you. Makes your natural good looks stand out even more.

BGM: Miharu

It... suits me...? Wow... I never thought I'd live to see the day you'd say that to me. Now you've gone and gotten me all embarrassed...

Her face is bright red as she says that. A very uncommon occurrence. You'd imagine she's used to customers complimenting her, but I guess it's different when it's a classmate.

I only chose this job because I could earn good money in exchange for acting nice to people, but after hearing that, I'd say it's been worth it.

Umm... I'm not sure if you should say that out loud...

Right when Naomi says that, the other customers burst out in laughter.

Hehe! As you can see, that's just how I do things. Everyone else is fine with it.

That's pretty cool...

As much as I can appreciate how these places have unique work environments, I still don't really like being in one.

BGM: Welcome Back, my Master E

Anyway, sit back and relax.

She gives us her perfectly rehearsed work smile before moving on.

Umm... I'm not too sure if my coming along was a good idea...

Don't worry. I feel the same way. Figured there'd be some other girls here scouting out the cute outfits, but I figured wrong.

Th-That isn't quite what I meant...

Ignoring Naomi's stuttering, I make an effort to start on my coffee. We finish up our drinks in a hurry and leave just as quickly. We get on the same train back as well, but have to split up at Shinjuku Station- my stop.

BGM: Lion House Cafe

05/07 (MON), Night
Once it hits 9 p.m., I start preprations to close up shop. I opened up pretty late today, so there weren't many customers. We used to get lots of people coming along for lunch when my gran ran the store, but I can't make much. It's no surprise that they'd stop coming. Even so, the fact that some people still come by because they enjoy being able to relax and chat here makes me happy.

It's worth mentioning that my gran handles all business and financial decisions for Lion House, even while in the countryside. I put in the orders and such myself, but that's all based on her instructions after seeing each daily report. This is made possible thanks to the laptop she took with her. She's actually more tech literate than I am, despite her age.

Around the time I finish cleaning up the store, someone makes their way through the door. Hearing the little bell jingle, I look over to see who it is.

BGM: Miharu

Hey, you.

It's Miharu, who's changed back into her school uniform. Just remembering her in that maid outfit nearly causes an involuntary grin. I don't mean that in a bad way. It looked a lot better on her than I imagined. Although I bet most things do, considering she's tall and stylish. In the end, it's her work outfit, so it'd be kind of rude of me to laugh.

Hey... Did work drag on?

Yeah, sorry about that. The girl who was gonna follow my shift cancelled out of nowhere, so I had to stay behind.

Can't say I'm too impressed by whoever that was. It's still work, even if they're doing it part-time.

It's one of those jobs where you get paid a lot for relatively easy work, so I'm not surprised. You won't find many of us working there actually trying to make a living off it. Most of us are there just to make some money on the side.

Hehe... It carries extra weight when you of all people talk about someone's work ethic, though.

The same applies to you.

The majority of Miharu's wage goes straight into living expenses, thanks to her situation at home. She doesn't pay for a tuition either, thanks to a scholarship. I don't know the full story, but her parents got divorced, so it's just her and her mom at home, I think. What's worse, her mom isn't in the best condition, so she struggles to keep a consistent income. I might not be working for the money myself, but I can't really compare myself with Miharu when I've got my gran supporting me.

Speaking of which, she mentioned once that most of the money she makes comes from real estate. She always brushes me off when I try to dig deeper into it.

Anyway... You wanted to speak with me, right? Is it all right if I get my hopes up?

You know exactly what it's about. This'll take a while, so grab a seat.

I take my apron off and move to sit down with her.

BGM: Silence
It won't take long at all, actually.

She stops me before I can take my seat, and then continues.

BGM: Two Crossing Paths -S/I V/S-

I saw what unfolded in that dream world myself. There's no denying that both of us should be dead right now. It seems like you don't quite remember the details of how it happened, though.

...It came back to me afterwards. My memory's still jumbled up, but now I know that last night wasn't the first time I met that girl, or goddess, whatever you want to call her.

Hehe. That makes things simple, then. We both need to make it through to the end.

She says this with a radiant smile.

How can you smile at a time like this?

When I see her smile, I can't stop my gut feelings from taking over. I lose my self-control the moment she confirms that Divine Selection is real. Everything I've been holding back since waking up from that dream comes pouring out...

It's simple. You wouldn't have had any doubts about wanting to survive if I wasn't a participant, correct? But the fact that I am means you can't summon those survival instincts now. The idea of doing so in exchange for my life pains you far too much. That's just the type of person you are.

You don't need to worry about that, though. I'm fully prepared to give my life for you.

Excuse me? What did you just say?

Like I said, it's simple. If given the choice between either of our lives, I'd choose yours in a heartbeat.

What the hell? Don't say that like it doesn't mean anything! Don't even joke about something like that...

Sorry... I shouldn't have shouted.

I break eye contact with her, giving myself a moment to regroup. Miharu replies by shaking her head while deciding on her next words.

I say this with the utmost conviction. Besides, I think it's safe to say that every other participant is adamant on surviving, too. Getting caught up in kindness spells certain death for you.

How can you be so calm about all this?

As much as I don't want to think about it, she has a cause of death of her own, as well. That moment's undoubtedly etched into her mind. My own death shocked me so much that my brain tried to block it out, and yet she's here acting like it's no big deal... I don't understand how she does it.

Because I'm doing this for your sake.

I'm glad we got to talk about this. You really don't have it in you to take the initiative, huh? I'm best off not giving you information about me, then. The last thing I want is more people going after you. Let's act normal at school, too. You'll make it through this, so you can't let anything disrupt your day to day life.

I need you to work with me as much as possible, though. Your death would spell my own inevitable elimination.

She finishes her spiel before facing away from me.

I'll do whatever it takes to protect you.

I can't open my mouth, not even after she's left my line of sight. I've forgotten to ask her about her own personal cards, as well as the reason behind me not obtaining any cards related to her.


BGM: Silence

I make no progress for several days as I wait for the second round of Divine Selection to come around. I start to teach Naomi how to brew coffee bit by bit while I continue to engage in the usual banter with Miharu and Mao. None of this helps to ease the tension in my heart, though. I can feel myself being pressured more and more by the reality that I've become a participant in Divine Selection again.