The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 113: The Great River of the World

BGM: The Sacred Large Hall

07/15 (SUN), Midnight
Of the twelve platforms present in the Court of Fate, only two remain that participants are actually standing on. Miharu's and my own. A strange sense of sadness pervades the endless dreamscape. As usual, Parca's voice cuts straight through those sensations.

Good evening, my lovely little slaves to fate. ...Perhaps that's a little overdramatic when only two of you remain.

Neither of us react to her comment, causing her to press on.

Tonight serves as the penultimate round of Divine Selection. Which of you will shoulder the burden of those who fell before you and become my vessel, I wonder. Well, neither of you seem intent on rushing things along. That is rather sad, I must admit.

We get the same starting conversation still, with Parca revealing how many iterations of Divine Selection there have been; however, when she begins the election process to cut off any followup questions, things change...

BGM: Do You Understand?

Allow me to begin tonight's election.

Parca makes her announcement before I can ask about it, however. The clock at the center of the Court of Fate begins to move shortly after.

Will we have an election from you tonight, Numeral I?

You won't.

...Very well.

Parca shifts her gaze to Miharu.

And yourself, Numeral II? ...My lovely former vessel.

Sorry, but you're wasting your breath. No election on my part.

Very well, then. Quite the boring session tonight, I do declare!

She puffs her cheeks out in discontent before making her way back to the center of the Court of Fate. Those mannerisms of hers are reminiscent of what I've learned about Dianna from the diary. Innocent, yet always one to act on her whims. A girl loved by cats, perhaps because she was like one herself.

With no elections to speak of, that means we can conclude tonight's gathering of participants. Next week marks the final round of this particular Divine Selection. I look forward to seeing which of you will become my vessel.

Ahaha. Whoever it is will no doubt have a wonderful life ahead of them.

Parca smiles, pinches her skirt, and curtsies. She does this in the exact same way as when I first met her here.

So... there's a question I'd like answered, if you don't mind. What happens if neither of us can elect the other during the next round?

Hmm... That is a possibility worth considering at this point, indeed. Allow me to answer by asking you to consider the significance behind the numerals you have been allocated.

So basically... if neither of us elects the other, the lowest number is given priority and allowed to live on?

No way...

Hard as that is to accept, it's likely what Parca is implying. It's a simple enough conclusion to reach at this point. At first I thought the numerals only represented the order in which we carry out the election process. But now they seem much more interwoven with our fates than before.

There's no need to beat around the bush anymore, is there? Tell us the true meaning behind our numerals.

You said we were allocated them, right? In other words, you didn't assign them yourself. I did find it strange that I wasn't Numeral I despite my death being the one to signal the beginning of Divine Selection.

Originally I thought it was due to a slight miscalculation on the juncture of fate's part, but my spot as Numeral II disproves that.

Very well. I've been looking forward to someone asking me about this, for true. Your numerals were indeed not selected by me.

They represent each participant's proximity to the world's primary course. To this effect, Numeral I is closest, while Numeral XII was the furthest.

Neither of us really understand what she's just said. Can't say I've ever heard of this primary course or whatever before now.

Think of the universe as a lake that filters into an endless number of streams. Each stream represents an alternate world that is birthed through choices made by its people. Of course, people themselves are not aware of this.

The Court of Fate serves as a place to overlook those streams.

I recall you mentioning that last part during the first round.


Hold on a sec. I'm not following.

Let's say you think about eating bread for breakfast. In this situation, a world where you do and a world where you do not are both spawned.


She tries to give me a basic example, but it flies right over my head. Her cheeks puff up, likely due to my interrupting her, before continuing.

What is it that leads to the creation of these two different worlds? The very moment you choose to have bread, you imagine a scenario where you do and one where you don't. The universe is not as stable as people believe. Personal perception plays an integral part in its existence.

You may have gone ahead and eaten your bread, but the outcome of not doing so now exists in your imagination. As such, that outcome becomes a reality in another world by nature of you recognizing it. This is what I refer to when speaking of the world's primary course and its branches.

Going back to the previous example, having bread would become part of the primary course- the lake. The world where you didn't would become a stream that gradually strays further and further from the primary course.

Are you getting this?

I direct my question not toward Parca, but Miharu. She nods and then goes on to explain.

Hmm... We could call ourselves observers of a sort. The primary course follows the most likely scenario.

I expected nothing less of you. Did you perhaps remember that we've had this conversation once before?

Miharu shakes her head in response. Her quick explanation helps me to understand things, though... If we're talking about the more likely scenario, then me having bread falls under that because it's a scenario born from my initial desire to do so.

We've strayed from the main topic somewhat.

Parca forces a cough before proceeding.

You all lost your lives during the juncture of causality, but worlds exist where that never happened. Using my power over fate, I linked each world where one of you survived to the primary course.

So the primary course currently comprises worlds where we both died and survived?

Not quite. That contradiction can only support itself here in the dream world, which is created from humanity's dormant consciousness. The Court of Fate is an anomaly to the world under normal circumstances. That being said, it's fine if you simply understand that one's perception of things here can affect the primary course.

The more she talks, the more lost I become. Miharu seems pretty interested in what she has to say, but it's doing nothing but confusing me. I take a chance to interrupt Parca when she stops for a breath by pointing at the floor.

None of that answers my question about the numerals, though.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed, are we? The world you currently live in is one that I altered from a branch. In simple terms, your numerals represent the ease with which fate can be altered, from lowest to highest.

I think Parca gave up on explaining toward the end there. I get the gist of what she's saying now, though.

So basically, you'd cut out whoever has the highest numeral to make the final alteration of fate easier. Right?

Oh, correct you are, my dear. I forgot that you tend to comprehend things that others don't.

I notice Miharu nodding from the corner of my eye. I can't deny her claim if Miharu is agreeing.

Furthermore, the twelve-week period represents the limit of your ability to maintain this paradoxical world. Is that right?

Who knows. I've never bothered to go past that. What's important is that doing so would tire me much more than I would like.

She pouts following that statement. I can't help but think she's exaggerating a bit. Mainly because she doesn't want to admit that she has a limit. Can't beat her divine pride. Anyway, the gist is that she's only capable of joining the branches together with the primary course for twelve weeks.

What happens to the worlds where each participant's death has been undone when they're eliminated?

Fantastic question, my dear. While I may be able to alter the world myself, the world also has something of a counter force. This exists to return both the primary course and each branch to normal.

Once a participant has been eliminated, the world in which they're still alive becomes a branch once again and distances itself from the primary course more and more.

So there are still worlds out there where they're still alive? In that case...!

There are indeed, though I must stress that even I can't observe them once they've drifted far enough away. The juncture of causality that ties twelve of these worlds together is what allows me to link them to the primary course in the first place.

Regardless, it's about time we end tonight's session. I've carried on for far too long already.


Tonight's session resulted in no eliminations. I bid you farewell for now.

She wastes no time in making her announcement after cutting the conversation short. I turn my gaze to Miharu, who calmly nods back to me. That's right. There's no need for us to panic right now. We need to throw our original plan out the window based on what we've learned tonight. Should two participants remain, whoever has the higher numeral will be eliminated by default. This likely applies to a situation where we can't elect one another, too.

Our only hope now is the one card sleeping within my card book.