The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 7: Dangerous Duo

BGM: Villain

05/09 (WED), Night)
There are people in this world who don't deserve to live, and I've never had any issue counting myself among them.

I spent my life stealing and killing as part of the mafia in southern Italy. I got to where I am today through countless betrayals.

I was never in the big leagues, but I managed to find success after success as a mafioso. Until, you know, I messed up when I shouldn't have and, well, died. Success wasn't imperative in the world I lived in. The key was to avoid failing, because a single failure meant you'd be six feet under. And that's exactly what happened to me. It's funny, though. Turns out, Lady Luck's impartial when it comes to whom she gives her blessing.

Getting tossed into Divine Selection means I have the opportunity to live on, despite my mistake. I've been given a new lease on life. I might not deserve to live, but that's irrelevant in the face of my desire to do so. So long as that desire's there, nothing else matters.

That's the Federico Carminati way of life. I failed only once in my life, and I'm determined to keep it that way. I guess Lady Luck isn't the only one to pay me a visit, though. Her much less unfortunate sister has made sure to stop by, too.
Federico's VA is listed as Koide Hiroshi, but I couldn't find any other roles he'd been credited for under this name.

Hey, space cadet. Do you copy?

This charming individual is Odette Malencon. Much like me, she's a participant in Divine Selection. Under normal circumstances, we should be aiming to eliminate each other, but we've agreed to help one another out... for the time being. Well, I guess it'd be more accurate to say that she's forced me into a truce.
Odette's VA is Okamura Minami; her only notable role is that of Uematsu Rikako from the VN Raging Loop.

Nothing much. Thinking about something.

How about you focus on the grub instead? I ain't about to let good Chinese cooking go to waste, Capricorno.

We use “Capricorno” as my codename when we're speaking. It's based on my zodiac sign. In turn, “Vierge” is how I refer to her. My only issue is that pronouncing French words is kinda tricky for an Italian like myself. Anyway, I'm the one that suggested using codenames. I did that mainly because our names are valuable info when it comes to eliminating others in Divine Selection. Neither of us are supposed to know each other's real name. Knowing her, she's probably used some connections to pull my name outta the lake, but she won't tell me that straight up. Obviously, I know her real name as well, but I haven't told her. Keeping that stuff to ourselves is the reason our current relationship works in the first place.

Gotta admit, I couldn't be any happier that we're in Beijing. You ain't gonna find better Chinese grub anywhere. They serve this stuff to the old Emperors of the Qing Dynasty, so even the sauces are perfect. What's more, it's loaded with calories to combat the cold climate here. For a gal who lives on the sea, the perfect blend of taste and calories is just what I need.

In fact, I'd argue that this Peking duck right here's probably the greatest thing to ever come out of China. Fat's never tasted this good. The way it's made is just as horrible as what they do to geese while making foie gras, but it don't change the fact that it's delicious. Least the ducks can do is hope they ain't as tasty in their next life.

She shovels more and more food into her mouth the second she quits yapping. This is her third plate of Peking duck, by the way. She's had plenty of gyoza and steamed buns in between, too. Hard to believe someone from France would order food like this, considering how particular they are about their full-course meals. Just watching her pig out makes my stomach ache.

Anyway, what I'm getting at here is that while French food's still the best, I ain't got no issue letting Chinese food play second fiddle.

Now wait just a sec. I don't mind what's second and beyond, but I'm not gonna let you imply that Italian food is anything but the best.

Fine. Let's go find us a well-built Chinese person. Whoever wins in a fight between us three can say their country has the best food.

Okay, fine, you win. Well, you don't, but let's change topics before things escalate.

She really would hunt for someone, too. Only problem is that it doesn't matter what kind of tank she recruits- she'd still beat both of us senseless. Ain't many people who can take her in a fist fight, men included. She's the head of a group teeming with tough seamen for a reason.

How about it, Federico, time for booze? This shaoxingjiu's pretty great. Tastes like dissolved candy.

Gimme a break, Ode- Ah.

Just like that, she's baited me into saying her real name.

I dunno what you were thinking about earlier, but how's about we quit wasting each other's time with this whole charade?

What's that supposed to mean?

I already know the answer, but I ask anyway. She chugs more shaoxingjiu before showing me a big, toothy grin.

I wonder. It's pretty obvious that everyone's first move in this Divine Selection game or whatever is gonna be to get a death grip on the other participants' names. You wanted codenames, but hey, it ain't gonna stop anyone from finding out our real names. Cause of death, too. We all died at the same time, so all it'll take is a bit of digging to find out how everyone kicked the bucket, especially when it involves people like us.

You catch my drift, right?

Yeah, yeah. No need to treat me like an idiot. I'm aware that information warfare's the name of the game here. Gotta find out one another's regret, too.

The fact you wanted to use codenames in spite of that proves you're just a small fry. You should forget all about your real name.

Everyone's regret card was handed out to other participants at random, right? That means one of 'em knows yours and one knows mine.

Well yeah, but there ain't no way someone's gonna luck out and get all three pieces of info on either of us when they're handed out at random. No one elected either of us during the first round, which serves as proof. Doesn't seem like that Indian guy has our cards, either. If he did, then he would've gone straight for us, since he knows it's best to take out the toughest competition first.

What would you have done if someone just so happened to get all your cards when they were first distributed?

Nothing much. I'd just die knowing I lost my bet and curse my fate. 'Bout it.

I really can't stand this woman sometimes. She makes you think she's got it all planned out, but she leaves the most crucial bits up to luck. Her cautious and rational actions end up getting thrown out the window when she goes wild for no discernable reason. I honestly dunno what goes on in her head. This is the first time I've come across a woman who doesn't just do whatever a man tells them to.

The worst part of it, though...

Well, either way, we're working together till its just us two. If you ain't up for it, then lemme smack you around some more.

That's what she does to resolve everything- she resorts to violence. I can't call her a nasty name out loud, so I just keep the insults to myself.

BGM: Silence
Moving on... Is there a reason we're in China when we need to be in Japan for the final day of Divine Selection?

Ain't it obvious? Much as I love Peking duck, I've never been able to eat it right here in Beijing before.

You serious...?

We've got some homework to do out here, as well.


BGM: Intel Investigation Underway

Right before our ship got attacked, I caught wind of a top brass excutive for a Chinese food company collapsing during a meeting.

As you might've guessed, Odette's the representative for a certain... shipping company. Of course, we're talking about this woman, so ain't no way it's a plain ol' shipping company. Doesn't matter if it involves drugs or even dead bodies, they'll take any job they're paid to do. In that regard, you could call 'em smugglers. Their existence is kept in the dark, though. Likely because certain governments aren't shy about making use of them.

Well, it's not quite accurate to say they'll take up “any” job, considering Odette makes it a point to turn down anything she considers boring. Certain circumstances led to my hitching a ride on her boat, which is how we ended up cooperating in the first place.

I went to look up more info on it after we'd been brought back, but... turns out there wasn't any record of the incident at all.

H-Hold on, doesn't that mean...

I can't even take the bite of food in front of my mouth when she says that. She, on the other hand, grabs the bottle of shaoxingjiu and downs what's left in it.

I gotta keep tabs on this sort of info thanks to my line of work, so I ain't gonna forget about something like that easily. His name's Ro Chanho. I dug deeper after that and, here's the kicker, he seems to be alive and well.


The moment she mentions his name, the book beside her emits a strange light. It's a big, thick auburn-colored book with some gold leaf decorations on it. But there ain't no pages in it- just a big hole in the middle when you open it. I've got the same exact book, see. It's some kind of card-storing book used for Divine Selection.

Now we're talkin'.

The dull light focuses into a single point once she opens her book.

It gradually fades, and in its place is a rectangular piece of paper. Odette catches it while it's hovering in midair.

Bingo. Looks like our friend Ro Chanho is Numeral VII.

Damn, that was easy...

That girl who was going on about being a goddess mentioned that the cause of all our deaths had been undone. The fact that Odette was able to notice such a paradox proves that the girl wasn't lying.

Now we gotta play the guessing game. He was a fatso, so he might've had diabetes. Which means he could've died from low blood sugar... Then again, I can't see a bigwig like him not taking the proper precautions, so... If something killed him unexpectedly, then it'd more than likely have been a stroke or heart attack.

No love from the cards, huh...

She calls it a guessing game, but she clearly isn't taking stabs in the dark. Does the fact that a card didn't appear mean she's not on the right track?

Hmm... Maybe there's some kinda condition that causes the cards to appear. How come Ro's name card never appeared before now, even though I'd learned about him earlier?

Hell if I know. Guess you gotta think a little harder if you're that unsure.

How 'bout you help me out here- Wait a minute. I thought up a few other possibilities just now, but I wasn't sure whether they were right or not...

You sure love talking to yourself.

My attempt to tease her falls on deaf ears. The grin that spreads across her face soon after bursts with confidence.

Between a stroke and a heart attack, I'd bet that he suffered the former. Wouldn't be surprising if his diabetes caused him to have one outta the blue during his meeting. How's that sound?

She directs her question toward the book, as if it'd nod back.

Amazingly enough, it does respond. It reacts the same way as when she obtained Ro's name card.

Numeral VII's cause of death was a stroke. Things went well this time, but it seems one of the rules is that you gotta believe in your answer to make a card appear. Can't expect results from blind guessing, even though it all seems kinda ambiguous.

Gotta believe in it, huh...

I should mention that Odette went through that entire process while she continued to chow down on her food.

BGM: Villain
I'd planned on going easy on the booze so I could stay rational, but I end up downing my drink as well. I figure that being stuck with her is a bad thing, but on the other hand, it might be perfect for me. This woman... is gonna be useful. It's not often that you find someone who's got the brains to match the brawn, so I should be able to get rid of anyone in my way with her around.

Why would she cooperate with me, though? Maybe she figures I have all the info I need on her, so she's doing this to make sure I don't hand anything off to the other participants. We were on the same boat when it sank, so naturally you'd think we both died the same way. And since I've got her name and cause of death, she wants to keep me in check. What she doesn't know is that I don't actually know her cause of death. She shouldn't know mine, either. We might've died when the ship was attacked, but the actual causes weren't by drowning or from fire.

In reality, the only info we have on each other is our names. Odette's just making it seem like she knows more so she can have leverage over me. Basically, this whole cooperation thing is a front so that she can get her hands on my info for when we're the last two remaining.

Heh. Now that's the kind of chowing down I like to see. Bring us the best wine you've got!

Yeah. Count me in.

The most important challenge of my life is about to begin. I ain't about to fail. And I certainly ain't gonna let her drink me under the table. We end up drinking till all the wine in the restaurant is gone. Amazingly enough, she pops open another bottle back at the hotel as a substitute for water. I'm not about to join her, so I go back to my room and sleep.

The next morning, I notice that I have Ro's card in my own book, too.


Cardbook has updated.

III – Name – Federico Carminati
VII – Name – Cho Ranho
VII – Cause of Death – Stroke
XI – Name – Odette Malencon

III – Name – Federico Carminati
VII – Name – Cho Ranho
VII – Cause of Death – Stroke
XI – Name – Odette Malencon