Part 116: Sudden and Rapid Change
07/17 (TUE), Noon
Mao called Miharu as well, so the three of us meet in the hospital lounge to talk. Based on what we know, Naomi was rushed there earlier.
Seems like she collapsed this morning... She was reading at home as usual, but something seemed off. Then she said that her head started hurting all of a sudden... She had an awful fever, which is what caused her mom to call an ambulance.
They don't seem to know what the cause is, either.
I'd heard the details from Naomi's mom as well. They have no idea what's happened. What's worse is she's also unconscious. It's so sudden that they can't think of any cause. I can't blame them, either. She seemed perfectly fine to me when last we met. Doesn't seem like she's collapsed from overexertion, so all the doctors can do is put her on an IV and let her sleep for now.
How come you were the first to hear about this?
I called her up to ask if she wanted to hang at your place, but her mom picked up instead...
This would be completely unexpected to most people. But me? I've seen her go through this before.
Do you know what she was reading?
Nope. Only that it was some really old book. They suggested that she could've been allergic to a mold or something since it's so old, but apparently that's not it...
I try not to make a big deal out of this information.
Well, there's not much we can do right now. Might as well go home and wait for the results of her scan.
I head out after that, but not before making eye contact with Miharu.
07/17 (TUE), Noon
Back at Lion House, Miharu turns up before long. Guess she understood what I meant. Mao took this development the worst out of us, so I urged her to just go home. That, plus the fact that I can't really discuss what I'm about to when she's around.
Do you remember what I told you about Naomi collapsing before the tenth election?
I do. The time Alan helped her, right?
She mentioned having a headache not long before collapsing then, too. Her condition's a lot worse now than it was back then, but the symptoms are similar. She even had a fever at the time.
It was due to her memories being in disarray, if I recall. Mainly because they get rewritten after every elimination, unlike ours. That burden must have led to her headache, and eventually, her collapse.
I suffered similar headaches during the start of Divine Selection due to my own foggy memory. In Naomi's case, new memories are overwriting those she had prior to the alteration. That means she's suffering twice as much as I did.
It's my fault for not noticing...
No, it's not. I take responsibility for not anticipating it...
Naomi's been with me this entire time. I may have chosen to distance myself from her for a time, but I've been keeping her up to date with everything since the incident with Yu. So basically, I've been replacing her new memories with those from before the alteration. Things never would've escalated this far if I had been more careful.
...There's no point in feeling sorry for ourselves right now. All we can do is believe that she'll be fine. What's more, we also have a duty to think about Divine Selection.
I'm so grateful for Miharu's level-headedness. Then again, I doubt it's all natural. She's forcing herself to be like this due to my own state of panic. I take a deep breath and suggest that we sit down. I can't just switch gears considering the circumstances, but the truth remains that either Miharu or I will die if we don't sort things out. We need to make progress, no matter what.
Take a look at this.
I show her a certain card. Dianna's cause of death. Not only that, but I make sure to fill her in on what Lethe told me.
BGM: He Reveals me the Answer
Needless to say, doing so takes some time. I make some coffee to help calm the both of us down, but we drink it all long before I am done.
That answers plenty of questions. Now I can guess why you're the only one that can materialize Dianna's cards, too.
I tilt my head in curiosity, not entirely understanding her.
You're clearly special to Parca, hence her desire for you. On the flipside, that makes her- Dianna, rather- special to you as well.
We both share something, which is why only I can materialize her cards... right?
Miharu nods and says that's likely the case.
Anyway, trusting not-cat-Lethe seems like our best bet. What he said aligns with what we know, too.
Yeah. If anything, I trust in the fact that he's fond of both us and Dianna.
It might be similar to how a parent feels for their children, considering how long it's been around.
Lethe just happens to pass by while we're talking about it. It flinches when I call out to it, but then it turns to face us.
Is there anything you can do to help Naomi? She has to be suffering thanks to what's going on with her memories...
Lethe should be able to do something. He might even know the cause. What's more, he could use his powers to make her forget one side and stabilize things.
Oh, I forgot you can't speak in that form. Could we talk if I take a nap?
Lethe shakes its head. Not every day you see a cat do that. I realize right away that it isn't doing so just in response to my question, though. The Lethe in my dreams already told me that it won't help us anymore.
Consider it a request from me, as well. You know how to help her, don't you?
Even Miharu pleads with it. Lethe doesn't respond this time, instead turning its head and wandering off. Neither of us can do anything to stop it. That reminds me of what I was told before. You can't rely on me any further. From here on out, you'll have to use everything you know to make it through.
Did Lethe know this would happen...?
It's possible he said that while taking this situation into consideration. In that case, this is something we need to overcome on our own.
Either way, we should visit Naomi tomorrow.
We split up for the day following that. All that's left to do is wait. So I say, but it's pretty frustrating when we don't even have time to discuss Parca's regret.