The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 12: Distant Silhouette

BGM: Powerless

05/14 (MON), Morning
Huff, huff...

This morning brings memories of another nightmare with it. The second round of Divine Selection has taken place. By this point, I've already accepted that I am a participant. The fact that I'm alive right now makes it hard to comprehend the reality of my own death, but it's no longer about whether or not I believe it. Rather, the events that've taken place so far are starting to get to me because they feel so detached from my own personal life.

Divine Selection's grinding along, and two people have been eliminated without any influence from me whatsoever. I keep telling myself that they had died over two weeks ago. But I can't forget the faces I saw in the Court of Fate. That alone is enough to make my heart ache. I... don't want to die. Not having access to my own cards is frustrating, too. There's one major reason behind my reluctance regarding all this, and it's the fact that I don't know what my own regret is.

I still haven't sorted things out with Miharu, but it's entirely possible that we could both be eliminated while preoccupied with that. As afraid as I am of both the woman from last night and the guy from the first round, not to mention everyone else, I'm not about to go down without a fight.

My first and foremost priority...

I have three cards at the moment. If I'm going to do any digging, it needs to start with the people these belong to. I look up that Federico Carminati person after I finish collecting my thoughts. As expected, no useful information. All I learn is that it's a common name in Italy. The other two cards provide me with a cause of death for Numeral IV and a regret for Numeral IX. All I know about them is that they seem to be foreigners.

Where am I even meant to start?

After a big sigh, I set about my morning routine. There's always the possibility that the other participants don't know anything about me. Doesn't mean I can waste my time, though. My own name card was among those distributed at the beginning, which means it's only a matter of time until someone puts two and two together.

One thing that has me curious is Numeral IV's cause of death. Much like me, their card says they died in a fire. From what I recall, Numeral IV is a boy from abroad. Of course, there's no guarantee that he got caught up in the very same situation as me. Much like how there's no guarantee that I simply died from the fire itself. In fact, I still don't recall how one broke out on the train in the first place. There are plenty of possibilities, from a simple accident to an intentional terrorist attack, but there's no way for me to find out when the act has been undone. In other words, all I've got going for me is my memory.

Ahh, screw this.

No point in forcing myself to try and remember. Especially when there's a near-zero chance of a hint magically appearing to help me out. I make my way downstairs, have some bread, and then head to school.


BGM: At Amecha Girls' University High School

05/14 (MON), Noon
Phew! Lunch time, at last. Did you bring your own?

Mao and Miharu stroll over to my seat when the bell chimes for lunch. I had planned on going to the cafeteria on my own, but Mao catches me just in time. We probably would've eaten separately if she hadn't, considering my mind is a little preoccupied. So much for trying to go about life as usual.

Yeah. I was just about to head over to the cafeteria.

Actually, I overslept a bit this morning, so I didn't have time to make my own lunch.

Overslept, huh...?

Obviously, I won't ask if that was thanks to being in the dream world.

Sure is rare for you to oversleep. Either way, full speed ahead to the cafeteria!


The university on campus has its own cafeteria, which is open for our use as well. Middle schoolers aren't allowed to use it, but once you hit high school, it's fair game. Since it's a little awkward hanging around all the university students, most of us tend to buy our food and then go eat it somewhere else. That goes double for us, considering how much we stand out.

That being the case, we make our way to the rooftop after getting our food.

Ooh, we've got it all to ourselves today.

The rooftop is usually crowsed with students on days like this, but fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case today.

What'd you two get?

A ham sandwich. It's simple, but it does the job. Not to mention nice and cheap.

Uh, you sure that's gonna be enough?

I could ask you the same. Yakisoba bread and anpan isn't much more filling than what I have.

Hey, now. I got some coffee milk as well, so in terms of calories, I'm miles ahead of you.

She jams a straw into the carton with a triumphant grin. It's a 16-ounce carton, too. I'd probably struggle to finish it before lunchtime ends.

Why is calorie counting a competition now?

Uh... to see who gains weight the fastest?

Please find something better to compete in...

It wouldn't hurt you to put on a little more weight.

...I'd appreciate you not saying such things while ogling my chest.


Much as I am aware of my... depressing reality, I'd rather not have her remind me of it. Especially with Miharu sitting right beside me.

What did you get, Rinka?

...A tonkatsu sandwich.

Welp, guess we've got our winner. You're on the prowl for calories too, huh?

I'm certainly not competing over it.

Mao asks for a bite as I unwrap the packaging. Trust her to do so before I can get a bite in myself. I float the sandwich close to her mouth, which prompts her to chomp down on it.

Aww, I didn't get any of the tonkatsu from that bite...

You really do take small bites, don't yo- What's wrong, Miharu?

She's staring at Mao with a blank expression.

Well, uh... maybe she wants a bite, as well?

Wanna trade for your ham sandwich? I'll give you the part Mao didn't take a bite out of.

No, it's fine. I don't particularly like fried food in the first place.

Please accept my humble apologies.

Mao presents her yakisoba bread as an offering to Miharu after apologizing. Unsurprisingly, Miharu turns her down, which elicits a laugh from her. Honestly, what a silly conversation. At the same time, it serves to remind me that moments like this are a regular part of my daily life.


What's up?

Oh, sorry. Guess I spaced out for a second there.

That said, I go back to eating my lunch. We keep chatting away like usual on the rooftop until just before lunchtime ends.


05/14 (MON), Evening
After the final period of the day, I hear someone call out to me as I'm tidying up my desk.


Oh hey, Naomi.

Turns out to be Naomi. The culture festival isn't far off at this point, so it's about time she starts teaching her classmates how to brew coffee themselves. That's why we've made a deal to have her come over to Lion House as much as possible this week. She normally waits for me at the gate, so it's kind of suprising to see her come straight to my classroom.

Now that I think about it, will everything I'm teaching Naomi right now be undone if I get eliminated? Based on what Parca said, it's all but guaranteed. If that's true, then why am I even bothering...?

Is something wrong?

Sorry, it's nothing.

I can't keep acting like this. Mao caught me spacing out earlier today, too.

Sorry for the wait. Let's go.


Miharu stops me as I'm standing up.

Hmm? What's up?

Are you going home with her?

Yup. She'll be practicing her brewing skills again today.

Once again, it's kind of obvious which is the “good” option- and we should always be accomodating, so let's invite her to join us! :v:

-Do you want to join?
-I take it you're going to work?

Want to join us? Assuming you're free, of course.

Not like there'll be many customers in the first place, and I'm all for us hanging out together. At first she looks happy about the offer, but it quickly shifts to disappointment.

As much as I'd love to, I have work today. ...But I might be able to get someone to fill in for me if I ask right now.

She whips her phone out to check mid-sentence.

N-No need to cancel work for this. All we'd do is chat anyway, so let's do it another time.

Yeah, that sounds good. No takebacks, okay?

Her tone is a bit poignant. Not that I blame her. It's entirely possible one of us could be eliminated during the next round. I leave the classroom after saying goodbye to Miharu.

I'm sure Mao would've tagged along, but it seems like she's busy with something else today, as well. While on our way to Lion House, Naomi blurts out something I don't expect.

I should probably apologize to her later.

To Miharu? Why?

Well... It seemed like she wanted to talk to you about something in private...

Well, I wish she could've come, but there's not much you can do about her having to go to work. Don't blame yourself.

Th-That's not quite what I meant, though...

Oh, so what made you come meet me in my classroom today?

I figured it would be best to meet with you as soon as possible, but I'll make sure to wait for you at the gate from tomorrow on.

Huh? Why?

Naomi struggles to find the words that answer my question. After a number of false starts, she simply tells me, “Never mind!” It's worth noting that she actually seems a bit aggravated- a rarity for her.


BGM: W i H g L n (Dark Side of Hers)

Unbeknownst to both Rinka and Naomi, there is a girl secretly watching them from the school gate. It was Mishima Miharu, known at Amecha High for her looks and admission via scholarship.

To many, she is the embodiment of perfection. However, this perception has made her somewhat difficult to approach for them. Especially now, as tears stream down her cheeks for all to see. A scenario likely to become the locus of many rumors, if it involved anyone other than Miharu. In fact, it is such an unusual sight that no one will dare mention it at all.

Yo, Miharun. Didn't think you'd still be here.

Amongst the crowd of students pretending they haven't seen anything, Oguma Mao is the only one to address her. Her attitude remains consistent, even in the presence of her friend crying without uttering a word. Miharu's focus never shifts, despite Mao's presence. As such, Mao follows her line of sight, only to give a sage nod after seeing the two figures it lead to.

So that's what it is.

Hey, Mao?


If I were to die, I'd want it to be from having earned Rinka's love.

Her voice quivers as she says this to Mao. Her words lack even the slightest hint of exaggeration. Mao is well aware that she has simply let her true feelings slip out. Miharu's words fail to faze her. She responds as she always does.

Welp, guess you can't die just yet.

She opts not to wait for Miharu's reply and walks off. And not because she doesn't care. She understands that Miharu sees no merit in sitting down to hash things out, or go and sing karaoke to shout those inner feelings out loud. Instead, she leaves Miharu to digest those simple words. Miharu doesn't think of Mao as being cold for doing so, either. In fact, she feels absolutely nothing at all about her.

The only thing in her heart is Rinka, who gradually sinks into the horizon.