Part 111: Daybreak
07/14 (SAT), Morning
Mmm... Morning already...?
I drag myself out of bed and stretch. I'm opening up the store for the first time in a while today. There are a lot of preparations to make, so the store's only going to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Once ready to face the day, I make my way downstairs.
BGM: Lion House Cafe
07/14 (SAT), Evening
I sit down for a breather after the day's work is done. Shifting back into work mode is a pretty exhausting process after spending so many days with my head in the books. At least working here really is fun. Plenty of regulars stop in since it's Saturday, too. It isn't busy in the afternoon thanks to the limited food menu, but it gets pretty packed toward the evening. Easily the busiest day since I first took over the store.
The door chime rings while I'm relaxing. It's a customer I'm oh-so-familiar with.
Oh, have you closed for the day?
Hey, come on in. No need to worry about store hours when you're a friend.
I have Naomi take a seat at our usual table and then head into the kitchen to brew us up some coffee. Once it's ready, I sit down with her.
Here you go. On the house.
Th-Thank you. You seem awfully cheery today.
You think? Guess it's because finals are over and I got to open the store back up.
U-Umm... I brought cookies today, if you'd like some.
Thanks. I really like your cookies.
I can tell they're the same ones that she brought once before. The bag's tied shut with a nice red ribbon. My favorite color. We spend some time chatting while enjoying both our offerings.
Do you... mind if I asked what happened after we left last night?
I explain what took place once Miharu and I were alone. Well, everything sans what Miharu shared about her past. I skip to the part where she asked for my answer to her confession, and that I couldn't give her one just yet. Naomi acts strangely relieved over it. Probably because I mentioned that Miharu came to the decision to survive as well.
Have you finished reading that diary yet?
Nope. Been too busy with finals. Chances are I'll finish it tonight, though.
Okay. Do you mind if I stop by tomorrow after closing time? I'll bring Miharu, too.
Sounds fine. It's worth discussing, even if there's ultimately no valuable info in it. Not every day you get to read about the daily life of someone from a whole century ago. We've still got one more chance if nothing gets resolved during tomorrow's election, too. Approaching things with a level head seems like the best approach.
Agreed. Also, um... do you think I could borrow the diary from you tomorrow?
She's obviously shy about asking again. I tell her it depends and she responds with a smile.
07/14 (SAT), Night
If the past few weeks have told me anything, it's that I can focus better when reading at night. I set a cup of coffee down next to the diary and crack it open.
Lethe curls up at my feet. It gets pretty humid in July, so I guess the floor here is the coolest place for it to rest. I'll have no luck getting it to move either, so I bring it some milk before getting started. My great-great-grandmother is the one who wrote this diary. Her sister owned a cat named Leo, too. I wonder if she wrote in the diary in a similar environment. Coffee by her side, cat at her feet. Makes me think about how while the times may change, our actions never really do. It's kind of funny- the bookmark I'm using is shaped like a cat.
I finish both my second cup of coffee and the diary around the same time.
BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper
The shock of what I've just read even knocks out my taste buds. I'm immediately overcome with disbelief. Yeah. Glad I arranged to meet with Miharu and Naomi tomorrow. I might've forgotten to do so after reading this knock-out. I'm not overexaggerating its shock value. It's fortunate that I can talk to them about it before tomorrow's election. At the very least, it'll reduce the risk of me going wild all on my own.
Unbelievable as this is, it's just what we need.
As Miharu said, this could very well be our trump card. We might just be able to pick Divine Selection apart thanks to this. I can feel my heart racing.
After closing the diary, I remove the photos tucked between its final pages. Three in total. One of Linda, one of her with her family, and a third of her with another girl. Linda Harrison, my great-great-grandmother. That's who this diary belongs to. Seeing her picture isn't what grabbed my attention. It's the one with the other girl in it, specifically. That girl is noted as Linda's sister. The photo isn't high definition or anything, and its turned sepia with age, but I know for a fact that it's Dianna.
She's the spitting image of Parca.
Her clothes are more appropriate for the time of the picture and her hair isn't as long as it is now in the dream world. Regardless, this isn't a case of passing resemblance. They're the exact same person. Every nerve in my body is telling me so. It's theoretically impossible for this to be true. But what's written at the end of the diary makes the impossible a reality.
That's not all, though.
I somehow materialized a new card.
XIII Name Dianna Harrison
A thirteenth numeral that shouldn't exist.
It's the goddess's card...
I can't help but mutter it aloud. Maybe it's my way of forcing myself to accept the truth I've just uncovered.
Cardbook has updated.
I Name Shishimai Rinka
I Cause of Death Death by Asphyxiation
I Regret Daily Routine
II Name Hebinata Miharu
II Cause of Death Suicide
II Regret Shishimai Rinka
III Name Federico Carminati
III Cause of Death Death from Structural Collapse
IV Name Yu
IV Cause of Death Fire
IV Regret Daily Routine
V Name Ushizuka Shigetsugu
V Cause of Death Death from Starvation
V Regret Back when I was Close with Family
VI Name Chan Chan
VII Name Ro Chanho
VIII Name Kamebuchi Keiko
VIII Cause of Death Brain Hemorrhage
VIII Regret Child's Name
IX Name Scale Jones
IX Cause of Death Death from an Accident
IX Regret Gold Medal
X Name Sofiya Priessnitz Alexeievna
X Regret Seeing the World
XI Name Odette Malencon
XII Name Alan Scorpion
XII Cause of Death Death from Poison
XII Regret Little Sister's Future
XIII Name Dianna Harrison