The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 102: Joining

Fear begins to take hold. My every instinct screams at me that Parca is dangerous. That fear, interwoven with my grief over losing Miharu, causes my entire body to convulse.

Oh? Perhaps you've realized what's about to happen. Hardly surprising when we now effectively share the same body.


I see no need to explain myself to someone who couldn't figure that much out themselves. What's important here is that my desire shall finally be fulfilled.

Enough, already. I've lost someone dear to me... I don't care anymore... Just tell me what you mean without any of your usual crap.

Very well. Allow me to delve into the inner workings of Divine Selection ever so briefly.

Giving into my own despair, I finally rise to my feet. Parca seems to interpret that as my intent to listen, which prompts her to continue.

BGM: Do You Understand?

To be clear, Divine Selection is a ritual that can alter fate. It is the sole way to alter the deaths you all faced. When whoever serves as my vessel loses their life, I twist the fate of all twelve people linked to them. This requires making use of the infinite worlds that exist, each based on the possibilities birthed from every choice ever made.

From those, I seek worlds where each of you have survived and then string them together. This goes against the natural order of things, causing a counter-force to activate in turn, which attempts to restore existence to normal.'

A counter-force...?

I can't help but question her terminology. I have to know. Why were we granted this glimmer of hope in the first place? Is it possible that it'll be ripped away from us by this counter-force?

Perception plays a fundamental part in the world's structure. An apple is only an apple by nature of everyone seeing it as such. Should everyone come to believe that apples are oranges, then every apple in the world would follow suit. In other words, your existence is only supported by someone's belief that you exist.

Let us assume for a moment that the world's primary course is fixed and your death in it is a certainty. Attaching to it a world in which you survived would result in a paradox. A paradox where you're alive despite being dead. The world will attempt to rid itself of this paradox by returning to its previous state. That is the counter-force.

In other words, the fates strung to the primary course by force will attempt to return to their individual branches.

So what you're saying is there's a branch out there where Miharu's alive, right? Can't you shift us over to that one?!

I'm sure you're aware by this point, but that isn't possible. I myself am no absolute being with control over everything.

What about shifting us to a world where only Miharu survives, then? I'd take that over th-

My apologies. I seem to have given you a sliver of hope, but I'm afraid that, too, is not possible. The world in which Numeral II is alive returned to its regular state the moment you eliminated her. As such, it has already distanced itself from this one. I currently lack the ability to bring back a world once it has split off.

Miharu was your former vessel, right? She said that you even talked to her in her dreams. Don't you care or feel the slightest bit of sympathy for her?

Those are feelings beyond my ken. I view my vessels as a means to remain in the real world. Nothing more, nothing less.

I wish you'd get stuck here forever.

That cannot happen, I'm afraid. Twelve weeks is my time limit when it comes to remaining here.

And if you exceed that limit?

The possibility of that happening no longer exists in this world. Thus, I see no reason to divulge the answer to you. Not that you would understand it, anyway.

Parca takes one step toward me following that. My body has stopped shaking at this point, but one thing remains steadfast. I know for a fact that she isn't human. She really is a goddess. Her piercing gaze alone is enough to make me freeze.

What was the point of all this, then? What is it that you made us do?

Worry not. I'm about to show you the answer firsthand.

I feel my world shrinking with each step she takes toward me. Then, out of nowhere, the situation takes a sharp turn.

What the...?

The Court of Fate begins to collapse following a tremor. Suddenly, I panic. I'm bound to get caught up in this so long as I'm here. I don't know how to leave the dream world on my own, though.

There's nothing to fear, my dear.

The crumbling world soon begins to light up. And the light gradually gathers around Parca.

The Court of Fate is a system designed to gather the collective existence of you humans. A somewhat simple description, but I doubt you would understand if I put it any other way. When a participant is eliminated, only the acknowledgement of their prior death remains in their original world. Their feelings and what they experienced during Divine Selection do not.

Instead, they become fragments that are incorporated into the Court of Fate itself. Hence why I would address you all as slaves to fate. You, however, are no longer a slave. You have earned the right to become my vessel.

Parca shows no concern for the world collapsing around her. The light grows stronger and stronger with each step that brings her ever closer to me. There's little I can do besides remain motionless, unable to understand anything that's going on. I have nowhere to run while I'm stuck on this small platform. My only choice is to watch as she approaches.

The dreams of those eleven shall now become the foundation of my power. Using this power, I will perform a miracle. One that allows me to exist in the real world.

That's your reason for giving us hope? That's no different from toying with us. Everyone before me was nothing but a stepping stone for your own sake!

And... is there some sort of issue with this?

You're a heinous monster.

I have no reservations in calling her that. Sorry, gran. There's no two ways about it. I hate the being before me with every fiber of my existence.

Fine, just do your thing. I'll be able to curse you forever as long as you're a part of me.

Parca extends her hand out to me. Her palm is so tiny, her arm so slender. They seem like they'll snap just by touching me. I extend my own hand in response. Parca doesn't take mine in hers, though. Her hand goes straight toward my chest. After making contact, it sinks into my body. In this moment, I witness her merging with my own body. The light surrounding her envelops me.

BGM: The Memory Remains

What a fragile heart you have.

Parca's voice echoes within my mind. A voice so lovely. So warm. I can only imagine the pleasure that would come from yielding to it. I no longer carry any desire to defy her. A being who exists on a plane I can't fathom is going to overtake me. All I can do is accept it.

You will not simply be my vessel. Your mind and body share the same essence as my own. Allow me to show you a true miracle. Of course, you won't have the opportunity to see anything at all.

Something about all this seems odd. Miharu maintained her own will when she served as Parca's vessel. Parca existed within her, but that was it. She never became Parca herself. But in my case...

I shall become a resident of the real world through your body.

She put it better than I could.

And if to prove that...

My consciousness... is disapp-

I have taken over your body.

BGM: Silence

And thus, Numeral I became me.