The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 14: Budding Bonds

BGM: Miharu

05/15 (TUE), Morning
Good morning.

G-Good morning.

Miharu's already here when I get to school. She gives me her usual smile before she continues.


BGM: At Amecha Girls' University High School

05/15 (TUE), Evening

Naomi comes running over to me from the gate.


Uh oh...

She almost trips in her haste, but she manages to catch herself. Seems like she's just as clumsy as ever when she lets her guard down. She's been waiting for me at the school gate, just like she said she would yesterday. There's little point in her coming all the way to my classroom anyway, considering it's a big detour for her.

Sorry for the wait. Mind if we go somewhere else to talk? There's a nice place near Lion House.

We're not going to Lion House, then?

Nah. The weather's nice today, so might as well be outside.


Following that, we both made our way to the station.


BGM: Town

One transfer from Shinjuku to the metro and two stops later, you'll find this park. There's an entrance fee, but it's fairly inexpensive. It's one of the biggest parks in Tokyo, and was apparently an old samurai's garden back in the day. I'm not sure why, but it was restructured to resemble a mix between Japanese, English, and French parks. There are normally tourists all over the place, but it's a lot less busy on weekdays. That makes it ideal for a change of pace.

I came here a lot when I was a kid. There's one place in particular that I really enjoyed visiting.

Is... this where you wanted to come?

It's nice, isn't it?

There's a sole small bench in the middle of the garden. We sit down there, taking in the surroundings and the clock tower-esque building in the distance. Few buildings in Shinjuku stand out as much as that one. Part of me wants to say it's the building for a telephone company. The sound of the greenery whispering in the wind is nice and relaxing.


An odd sensation washes over me out of nowhere. It makes me wonder whether or not I've actually been here before. But I'm sure of it. I know I've been here plenty of times as a kid.


Oh, sorry. I'm fine.

I take a deep breath and get ready to tell her all about Divine Selection.

So... where do I even begin? I guess it doesn't matter when it'll sound like I'm making it all up anyway.


BGM: Silence


She utters my name in a painful manner once I finish telling her everything. She started to get teary-eyed midway, but I kept going. I doubt she would want me to stop without painting her the whole picture. She nodded attentively from beginning to end, as if to reassure me that the decision to tell her was the right one.

BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper
I knew something was weird all along... You were speaking fluent English despite not knowing the language at all when we first talked about that book. Everything started ever since then...

But you are alive, Rinka. I can tell you that much as a fact.

Saying that, she takes my hand in hers. The surface of her hand is cold, but I can feel her warmth underneath. There's no doubt the same goes for me. That warmth serves as proof that I'm alive.

Yeah, I know, but... Well, it seems like that shouldn't be the case.

I'm sorry for saying what I did without understanding the situation you're in.

Not like I would expect you to, considering I never mentioned it.

She doesn't doubt what I have to say for a second. Chances are that my cause of death lines up with her dream so much that she has no choice but to believe it. It gives her an answer as to why she's having that dream too, although it does nothing to resolve the situation at hand...

Not only are you in this situation, but Miharu as well...

I wasn't sure whether or not I should tell her about Miharu, but I decided to do so in the end. On the one hand, there's no point in trying to keep certain things to myself; on the other, I simply gave into my desire to lighten my own burden.

What's more, she said she's prepared...

She's referring to Miharu's statement regarding her own participation. That she's willing to give her life for mine.

I... wouldn't be able to say the same if I were in her shoes.

Same here. I don't want Miharu to die, but I don't have it in me to willingly let her make it through, either... Two weeks have passed now, and I'm still not sure what I should do.

I don't think you can be blamed for that...

BGM: Silence

Another breeze blows through, catching our hair. It's a surprisingly cold breeze for this time of year. I can see the sunset off in the distance. The mixture of blue and orange on the horizon somehow resembles a wavering heart to me.

Miharu is... very stronghearted, isn't she?

Yeah, she is...

She's the complete opposite of me. She knows exactly what she wants to do, whereas I'm sitting here unable to make any sort of decision. She might have already gotten started on gathering info based on the cards she's received. In fact, I'm certain she has. The determination in her eyes makes it apparent. Her attitude at school isn't any different from usual, but that's just further proof of her resolve.

There's no doubt she's doing as much research as she can elsewhere. And she's doing it all for my sake. I'd say that all the time she's been spending at work lately was just a front for said research, but that'd be overthinking things. That's something she's been doing for a while now.

Thanks for hearing me out, Naomi. I feel a bit better having talked to someone about this. I still don't know how I should approach this whole situation, but for now, I'll just focus on going about life as usual for a bit longer.

Saying that, I get up off the bench. Or... I try to, but Naomi stops me by grabbing my sleeve.

Can you wait for five more minutes? I've come to a personal conclusion, myself.

A personal conclusion...?

She nods firmly in response.

BGM: Bonds

I want to help you, Rinka. Things can't continue like this. It may be somewhat selfish of me to say when I'm not in your shoes, but... You need to face reality. You can't keep running from it.

Running from it...?

It's not that I'm struggling to make a choice. I'm simply avoiding it altogether. Naomi makes sure to be as frank as possible with her words. And they turn my entire world upside-down. The reality that I've been running from, my responsibility to choose whether I'll live or die, finally sinks in. Before I know it, the sky has been dyed entirely in orange.

At the very least, I can help you gather information. I'll even be able to meet those other participants face-to-face, since they don't know who I am. Most importantly, though... I can help share the burden you've been pressured with.


Her words are filled to bursting with resolve.

There's nothing we can do to change the fact that it could come down to either you or Miharu making it through, but if you continue like this, things may end even before that...

Hey, Naomi. There's something I've just realized, myself.

She turns to face me, waiting for my follow-up comment. Having the truth put in front of me like that makes me realize what I'm most afraid of.

I'm terrified of what I have to do to make it through this. Not only Miharu, but I also have to eliminate others to ensure my own survival. Is my life even worth casting aside the lives of others for? I'm not too sure about that. I mean, I don't even know my own regret...

I've seen the expressions of those who were mere moments away from being elected. I wouldn't describe them as sad, angry, or even accepting. They simply looked powerless in the face of what was about to happen. Those were the faces of people who died without being able to fulfill what they wanted out of life. Meanwhile, I'm not sure if I have that much invested into anything to begin with. That's why part of me feels like my life isn't worth being saved in exchange for theirs.

Is it not enough that people like myself and Miharu want you to live? I can't say for sure whether or not eliminating others for your own sake is the right thing to do. What I can say, though, is that I don't want you to die- no matter what! If the idea of committing that sin scares you, then... at the very least... Share half of that responsibility with me.

Naomi... why would you go this far?

Why would she go this far for my sake?

Before everything was undone, you chose to prioritize my life over your own. That's the kind of person you are. But... that's irrelevant now. I'm willing to go this far because it's for you, Rinka. That's all there is to it.

Huh...? That's weird... Why do I... want to cry now...?

She turns her gaze towards the sky, desperately trying to fight back the tears that are ready to fall at any moment. It's a weird time to have a thought like this, but I can't help but consider just how vast the sky truly is. Naomi has nothing but praise for the coffee I make. She's made me realize that I am avoiding reality. That, and a number of other important things.

Promise me you won't do anything dangerous.


The tears have started to stream down her face by the time I say that.

I can't die from anything other than elimination during Divine Selection, but the same doesn't apply to you. Promise me that you won't do anything that'll put you at risk.

Unable to get the words out, she bites her lower lip and nods her head.

That being said, allow me to formally ask you. Naomi, will you please help me get through Divine Selection?

Th-There's no need for you to be so formal...

I extend my right hand to her, which she takes. Her nervousness melts away with the beaming smile she gives me afterwards. Her tear-stained cheeks serve as a nice contrast to that.

You really are a crybaby, aren't you?

Ahaha... And you could do with learning when it's okay to cry.

No need to tease me.

Her tears don't stop flowing, even though she's all smiles. Just then, the announcement comes that it is almost time for the park to close for the day. I take the opportunity to tell Naomi that I'll see her tomorrow, and then I make my way home.