Part 114: Beyond Forgetting
BGM: The Sacred Large Hall
07/16 (MON), Early Morning
Good evening. Or is it good morning? Hmm, 'greetings' doesn't feel right, either. I wouldn't mind having a catchphrase like a certain goddess, but inventing one is rather difficult.
Once again, I'm face to face with this man. He speaks casually and then grins. Is he trying to provoke me?
Apologies. I'll set the jokes aside for now.
You've finally obtained the most fundamental piece to this puzzle. All that remains is to place it in the relevant spot. This puzzle is one that was never meant to be completed. Allow me to guide you through the fog that clouds your memory.
BGM: Sinking in Flames
Flames envelop me. Flames powerful enough to flake the skin from my bones. Flames that produce enough smoke to smolder my lungs. My life turns to ash. My inability to move even my fingers tells me as much.
Linda: Dianna... Dianna...! Don't leave her behind! Please...! Dianna...!
I hear someone shouting. I finally know to whom these cries of anguish belong. Fate truly works in strange ways. I thought these were memories shared only by myself and Naomi, but I learned that I share them with my parents. And now it turns out even Linda and Dianna went through the same thing.
...nda... ...ve... yourself...
The flames spread further, drowning out the cries. My consciousness vanishes by the time they become inaudible.
07/16 (MON), Morning
And then I wake up in a cold sweat.
Lethe must've crawled into my bed at some point, but it's not responsible for this. I recall those flames. The memories sleeping within me aren't just my own. I'm not sure if it's because we're related or because I read that diary, but it's definitely due to one of those reasons why I saw what I did. What's more, I notice that a new card has materialized in my card book.
Dianna's, and thus Parca's, cause of death.
Poison is written on the card. That's the most common cause of death when it comes to deaths like these. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills much faster than the flames. No death can be described as pleasant, but Dianna's case seems especially painful.
Lethe jumps from my bed, probably because I've gotten up and moved to my desk. It usually runs off after I get up. But I'm not gonna let that happen today.
Rather than pick it up like normal, I grab it by the tail- mainly out of fear that it'll outrun me. It was definitely about to hightail it.
It turns to face me and starts hissing. I guess being grabbed by the tail doesn't feel too good. I refuse to let go and tug it even harder. It tries to run, but I scoop it up and then check its front paw.
BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper
I knew it.
It has a scar there. The same scar that Leo, Linda's cat had. Her diary mentioned that it cut itself by stepping on a piece of glass. Naturally, you don't inherit a scar. The possibility of Lethe somehow injuring itself in the same spot exists, but I'm willing to bet that isn't the case.
You're the guy that keeps appearing in my dreams, aren't you? Can't say I understand how that works, but after everything else I've seen, it's hardly surprising.
My question may make me sound crazy, but I pose it nonetheless. Lethe is always nearby whenever that guy appears. I first noticed it after seeing the photo with Dianna and Leo. I can't just chalk it up to them looking alike now, even if the idea of it living for so long seems impossible. Throwing away logic is a must if I want to find the truth behind Divine Selection. Its paw serves as my definitive piece of evidence. It only makes sense that even a cat can become a vessel for something if humans can.
Maybe you can only speak in the dream world or something...
A sudden realization causes me to plot Lethe on my seat. If it really is that guy from my dreams, then that means I've been sharing my bed with him...
Anyway! If you can understand me, you better show yourself tonight. We can talk more then.
It is a simple meow, but it sounds like a proper response to my ears.
07/16 (MON), Noon
We have Monday through Thursday off from school due to midterms being over. Although it's one of the busiest times for teachers, since they have to go over everyone's exams, grade them, and then prepare all the different results sheets. They can probably do with as much help as they can get right now. Funny how I'm the one getting help from some weird guy in my dreams at a time like this.
That being said, I plan on keeping the store open all day during our time off. It might seem weird to prioritize weekdays over the weekend, but I'm sure the regulars will appreciate it.
BGM: Rinka's Room
07/16 (MON), Night
The day flies by faster than anticipated, thus I return to my room. Lethe's already curled up and ready to sleep, so I grab a blanket and wrap it up. It really does understand what I'm saying, huh?
I've got an early start tomorrow, so I dive right into bed once I'm ready. Well, mostly because something tells me I'm not going to feel rested at all when I wake up.
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
XIII Cause of Death Death from Poison