The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 100: Their Future

content warning: suicide mention, explicit self-harm mention, parental neglect/abuse

BGM: He Reveals me the Answer

Let's see... I skipped a majority of the details when I told you about what happened between the time I entered Amecha and met you, so allow me to fill that gap. This will be entirely from the perpetrator's point of view. There's no taking back what the victims went through and they can't be judged for their hatred.

As you know, I'm not at all fond of my mother. This wasn't always the case, however.

Miharu tells me about her mother's past. This must be crucial in understanding her frame of mind.

Regardless, even the perpetrator has lived their own life before that point. I just happened to be born on the 'after' side of things.

She prefaces her story with this. It's not the first time I've heard about how her father took someone's life in an accident. She told me about it way back at the park, too. He may have been responsible, but that doesn't mean he felt nothing over it. I'm sure his wife felt the same pain he did.

My mother stayed by my father's side even after the fact. She went so far as to shoulder the burden with him and worked hard to ensure that they could start a new life elsewhere.

She pauses for a moment before continuing.

At some point, though, her mindset changed. Likely prompted by my father's suicide. She was already bottling up plenty before that, so maybe it makes sense that losing him caused the bottle to burst. While her despair may have been one factor, I'm certain the main reason was her belief that she had been betrayed.

She had given her life to support him following what happened, and yet he threw his own life away. He abandoned his responsibility to own up to and live with the consequences of his actions. Meanwhile, my mother was separated from the sin she shouldered with him. She was finally free, if you will.

Miharu's mother began looking for a new partner. Eventually, she fell for a younger man at her workplace. Miharu made it a point to say that her mother was pretty beyond doubt. She looked young despite both her age and everything she'd been through. It made sense for her to enter a relationship with someone younger.

I met the man once myself. He was accepting of her being a single mother and they got engaged before long. She was always so happy then. She would make my favorite meals for dinner. The way she chose her clothes whenever she went out resembled that of a girl going on her first date.

We were hardly wealthy, but she always made sure I looked fashionable. I really did love her back then.

I knew about our financial situation, though. That's why I studied hard to get a scholarship at Amecha, knowing it would allow me to get an education without putting a strain on her. I figured she would've been married for a few years by the time I'd enter university, so we would be in a much better place financially.

The Mishima family had a bright future ahead. Her mother never neglected her parental duties, not even while indulging in her newfound love.

She was betrayed again, though.

Apparently the man told her that they should break up, despite him having given her an engagement ring.

It must have been around August. He fell in love with one of the new hires at their job.

Their relationship had been going on for over a year at this point. One couldn't easily regain the feelings they'd lost.

This was likely the final moment of my mother's life. Everything she did afterwards was never really her. That's what caused her to change, essentially. She stopped caring about everything, including me. My birthday, my tastes, everything. It all became meaningless.

I'm not sure if neglect is the right word for this, but it's the first that comes to mind. It's basically a type of child abuse that involves not giving them the proper care they need.

She'd do nothing but complain if I tried to say anything to her and she started drinking alone at home. She wasn't working full time, and yet she would only ever do the bare minimum of chores. Drastic changes have the power to sway people's hearts. Our relationship before all that made it all the more difficult for me.

It was around then that I started slitting my wrists. It's also when I did it on a regular basis. I just wanted her to care about me again. I didn't mind if she didn't buy me stuff I liked or if she didn't do any chores. At the very least, I wanted her to acknowledge my birthday.

At the same time, I found it odd that her anger was directed not toward the man, but toward the woman who took him from her. She may have seduced him for all I know, but it was still his decision to betray her in the end. I couldn't understand why she wasn't angry at him when that seemed like the natural reaction.

In terms of victim and perpetrator, I thought the man was definitely the latter, with my mother the former. At the same time, I may have held some resentment toward my mother for the vulgarities she uttered about the woman in front of her own daughter.

She could do little else but bottle up the stress caused by both her mother's neglect and the resentment she felt.

Ever since the winter of my first year in middle school, I spent my time thinking of ways to hurt myself more to grab her attention. While my meeting with you when we were kids helped support me, six months passed with me in a destructive state of mind. It was in my second year that I met Mao. That was a turning point in my life.

Apparently Mao was keeping her distance from her classmates as well, albeit for different reasons. She hated the groupthink amongst the girls in her class. Stuff like their decision to ignore people if they didn't join in on bullying others. Nowadays that's not an issue since she can brush off anything she doesn't support, but that wasn't the case back then. That's why she kept her distance instead. It was so she wouldn't get forced into doing anything she didn't want to.

Mao was never any good at judging the right way to interact with others at the time. Well, I was even worse.

Mao showed no effort to avoid Miharu after learning about her self-harm habits, nor did she get angry and try to lecture her about it. She didn't even try to understand the reasoning behind it. According to Miharu, that was exactly what she needed.

Mao's the one who told me that I didn't need to love her just because she was my mother. It was okay for me to hate her.

That... sure sounds like Mao.

Miharu nods quickly.

I finally came to hate her thanks to that little push. I accepted that she wasn't worthy of my respect at the moment, despite our past relationship.

It's fine whether you love or hate someone. It's fine to switch from one to the other, too. In the end, it's all a personal choice you make yourself. I can see Mao saying something like that.

Even then, there were still times where I broke down and slit my wrists.

The frequency at which she did so dropped dramatically, however. Knowing she wasn't alone gave her peace of mind.

I'm sure I can give a general summary of what happened once I entered high school and fell in love with you.


She briefly explains that her self-harm actions had stopped around that time. The scars from before would never go away, though. That's why she started to wear clothes with long sleeves, even in the heat of summer.

And then when our second year started, Naomi appeared.

That was another turning point for her. I'd started to spend a lot more time with Naomi after we met. Now that I think about it, it's impressive how close we got in such a short time. One month in and I already wanted to go to a theme park with her. It was completely normal from most people's perspective, I guess. Just another facet of one's daily life.

Miharu couldn't see it that way, though.

I was always the one by your side up till then. Mao would always act as the third wheel because she knew how I felt about you. But the same can't be said for Naomi, you know? To be frank, the more time you spent with her, the less time you spent with me.

Miharu makes it as clear as day. I don't blame myself because I don't really agree with the idea of having to spend an equal amount of time with everyone. Nor can I blame Miharu for her perspective, either. Not when I understand where she's coming from now.

BGM: Miharu

One day, Parca appeared in my dreams to tell me what fate held in store. Naomi would steal you away from me.

Parca did...? Why would she?

I had an odd dream that night. I'm still not sure if it was one Parca showed me, or one that manifested from my own anxiety. It was a dream where you and Naomi were in a relationship.

Me and Naomi...?!

My mind goes blank for a moment. First she mentions Parca, then a dream where me and Naomi are in a... r-relationship. I dunno where that possibility came from, but it's certainly not one based in reality. I'd rather not interrupt Miharu, so I make sure to withhold my commentary for now.

I had this dream on the night of May 2nd. The juncture of causality.

The day all twelve of us died...

Let me make one thing clear. That dream wasn't what led me to commit suicide. I'm confident I could get over it so long as you were happy.

She makes sure to tell me that she'll be fine no matter how I respond to her confession. She won't resort to suicide even if I say no. That's how she felt following the dream, too. The issue was with the emotions that her dream gave birth to.

I found myself outraged at Naomi. I hated her for it. Most of all, I envied her. That's when I understood, though. Why my mother's anger was directed at the woman instead of the man that abandoned her. Her blood runs through my veins, making it possible for me to turn out exactly like her in the future.

The realization that I had been denying my lineage through my hatred made me want to die.

This was different from when she was slitting her wrists. She didn't want anyone to notice her in this situation.

I just didn't want to be alive anymore.

That's an emotion I simply can't understand. We're fundamentally different people, after all. And it's not limited to just Miharu and myself. Not being able to understand parts of one another is what makes us all unique.

How do you feel now?

Divine Selection helped, in a way. The fact that I was able to kill myself proves that I understood exactly which part of me I hated.

Her hate was so strong that it even applied to herself. She was able to denounce that side of her and find the will to bring her own life to an end. Those actions gave her some form of hope, it seems.

Committing suicide proved that I still have a will and self-control. That, in turn, allowed me to forgive myself.

That's why she was determined to survive Divine Selection until I appeared in the Court of Fate. She made sure to stress that.

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

All right. That's the tale of Hebinata Miharu up until her demise. I'd like to hear your answer after taking that into consideration.

She turns and faces me once again. Telling me all that may have required even more courage than her confession. She didn't sugarcoat the horrible things she thought about Naomi. She knows how much I love everyone in our group, too. That's why she probably didn't want to accept her feelings toward Naomi. Doing so would lead to her not being able to spend time with me. Besides, she didn't actually despise Naomi. Her envy stemmed from the fact that I had been spending more time with her.

I get why she didn't want me to make a decision until I'd heard this. It just proves how much she loves me. She's serious about this.

Let me confirm one thing with you.

And because she's so serious, I need to be serious and ask this, too.

You said that only one person can become Parca's vessel, thus only one can survive. I still disagree. If there's even the slightest chance that both of us can survive, that's what I want to bet on.

Linda's diary and an outcome where we are unable to elect one another are both parts of my belief. I want to fight back as much as possible.

How do you feel about that?

She casts her eyes to the ground to show that she's thinking. It's not out of hesitation. She wants to be confident in her response. I don't want an answer based on logic. I want one based on her feelings. She probably understands that.

My priority is your survival. As for my own, I'm still not too sure.

I appreciate your honesty.

She responds in kind to my trust in her. She should know the answer I am hoping for. “I've changed my mind. Let's look for a way to survive, together.” That isn't the answer she gives. It kind of makes me want to shout at her, much like I did when she first said it at the start of Divine Selection. Her resolution is the same now as it was back then. It's somewhat relieving, though. She's still the same person I've always known.

W-Well, uh... Here I go, then...

My nerves get the better of me once it's time to answer. I can feel my heart ready to explode. Miharu's face may be even more flushed than mine. Even I'm beginning to wonder how I remained so calm until now. It's only natural to be nervous. This is no doubt something that'll change both of our lives.

BGM: Silence

...give her an answer.