The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 17: Reaching the Cause of Death

content warning: explicit details about pregnancy complications

BGM: Lion House Cafe

05/19 (SAT), Noon
After school, Naomi and I come back to Lion House together again. Keiko never has approached me again after that one night.

She probably realized that I now know her name.

Right... I assume she's aware of the potential risk in approaching you again thanks to that, too.

Let's do this.

After I ensure that my book is in my bag, I guide Naomi to the hospital.


BGM: Intel Investigation Underway

05/19 (SAT), Evening
By the time we reach the lounge, I realize that I never did ask Naomi how she plans on approaching Keiko's family. Even without me there, it doesn't change the fact that she's just a random highschooler to them. I highly doubt they'll be willing to share private information with a stranger like that. Fortunately, the lounge is on the same floor as Keiko's room, so I'll be able to hear Naomi scream should anything go wrong while I wait. She isn't quite as clumsy and shy in front of me anymore, but this is Naomi we're talking about. I can't help but worry about her. I know that she said she'd do her best for my sake, so I'll trust in her.


BGM: Town

After some time has passed, a man in his late thirties passes by me. I assume it's Keiko's husband and try to avoid eye contact. I move my gaze to look outside the window, waiting for his footsteps to fade.


Ack! You startled me...

Being approached from behind like that causes me to yelp, but no one seems to pay me much mind. Naomi's voice sounds somewhat gloomy.

Welcome back. How'd it go?

M-My heart's about to explode, for one. As for actual information, most of what I learned will only help us to narrow down the possible causes.

So you didn't learn anything specific?

Right. It seems like she's always had a frail disposition, but no particular diseases to speak of. However, she'd been entering preterm labor on a consistent basis, which eventually lead to a premature birth via emergency C-section. The child had to be admitted afterwards, so both of them have been in the hospital for close to three weeks now.

That overlaps with the timing of Divine Selection. The books we were reading yesterday mentioned preterm labor and premature birth. Premature birth is when the baby is born before the expected date, and preterm labor is when you enter the first stages of labor earlier than you should. The mother suffers from constant pain and bleeding during this, so she has to be kept as idle and relaxed as possible. I guess things took a turn for the worse, which led to her needing a C-section.

How'd you manage to get that much out of them in the first place?

I... told a little white lie.

Her tone is more hushed than usual. It's probably why she seemed a bit gloomy afterwards.

I told them that I noticed her whenever I'd come here to visit my friend, who'd also been hospitalized. I said I was worried about her, but felt it would be rude to ask her about her situation directly. I... also said I would bring her some flowers soon. That... eventually lead to them telling me what I just told you...


She looks like she's ready to cry. She pried information from Keiko's family for the express purpose of eliminating her. Knowing how kind of a person she is, there's no doubt she's beating herself up over it. All I can do is grit my teeth. She did this for my sake, so I can't give her some half-hearted consolation. Figuring it'd be too risky to discuss things further here, we make our way back to Lion House.


BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper

We dive right into discussing her cause of death upon our return. I wouldn't call it a bright conversation. Hardly surprising, but both of us make sure not to comment on it. I read yesterday that premature birth and C-sections place a significant strain on the mother as well. She might not have had any notable diseases, but she still had a frail disposition. Put two and two together, and...

Blood loss seems most likely.

The book doesn't react. I can't tell if it's because I'm wrong, or if it's because I'm not going through the proper process with the correct information. I was pretty confident in that conclusion after discussing things with Naomi, but...

No reaction... Does that mean we're wrong, then?

I'm fairly certain her family would've beaten about the bush if she had a specific condition, though. The fact that they didn't means she really doesn't.

I grab some of the books we checked out of the library to make sure we haven't missed something. Naomi does the same. I end up coming across something relevant quicker than expected.

BGM: Intel Investigation Underway
This might be it.

I point to a page detailing one of the leading causes of death during childbirth. A brain hemorrhage. It's described as being caused by an artery in the brain bursting, which leads to internal bleeding in the surrounding areas. Not only does it impact your senses and consciousness, but it can lead to death should a tumor become big enough to put significant stress on the brain stem. The reason this can kill you is that the brain stem regulates the central nervous system, making it one of the most vital parts of your body. Most causes of death during childbirth can typically be traced back to this.

That makes... a lot of sense, actually...

Oh, it started shining...

Wait, really? I can't see anything.

My book starts to shine almost immediately after I come across that information. Naomi doesn't seem to be able to see it, so I explain what it does when you successfully turn information into a card. The light congregates once again and gives birth to a new card.

Oh, there it is!

I guess she can see the card itself and what's written on it, though. Just like the others I possess. I assume it's got something to do with the fact that giving them a physical form means their existence becomes reality. I place the card on the table so she can read it. Written on it is Numeral VIII's cause of death. A brain hemorrhage.

This is it, huh...

This killed her. She gave birth to her child, only to die of a brain hemorrhage. The fact that her child's in the hospital means that its birth wasn't undone at the beginning of Divine Selection. In that case, it might be safe to assume that Keiko didn't die during the process, but sometime after. I can't say I feel pleased over having made some progress, in all honesty. I'd actually say I feel worse now, having learned the circumstances behind her death.


Naomi likely feels the same way. I don't think there's any other way to explain the complex facial expression she's making right now. I have to be the one to break this awkward silence.

We should find out her regret while we're at it.

I notice that I've stopped referring to her by name. The worst thing I can do is let myself feel any attachment to her. I know for a fact that I'll regret things later down the line if I do. This is what happens when you learn the circumstances behind someone's death.

Well... there's no arguing that it's related to her child, at least. Is she worried about its future?

The book doesn't react. Playing the guessing game won't get us anywhere.

I agree... We should make our way back to the hospital.


BGM: Town

05/19 (SAT), Night
Somehow we make it all the way over there without considering the notion that there's no way they'll let strangers in to see the newborns. Neither of us are too surprised, though.

Sorry... Part of me realized this would happen, but...

We might need to go about this another way.

But you say the next round is tomorrow night, isn't it? If we miss our opportunity, then it's likely that both her and the other participants will be working even harder to find out more information...! We should do as much as we can now...

I know you're right, but...

I get where she's coming from. None of the other participants have approached me so far, so right now I'm best off focusing on her. Both in terms of efficiency and to prevent my own info from being dug up.

It's 7 p.m., so visiting hours will end in an hour. We won't be able to stick around much longer. I honestly have no idea what else we could try.

...I'll speak with her personally. She may suspect me, but I'll do what I can to pass myself off as someone else.

She tells me to wait here as she gets up, ready to run off. I try to stop her, but all I do is cause her to trip over her own feet.



Fortunately, the fall brings her back to her senses. I tend to act impulsively, and it looks like Naomi's the same way. In fact, she might be even worse than me. Especially when you consider how quickly she made her decisions both in regards to helping me out and learning how to brew coffee.


You two do realize you're in a hospital, don't you?

I feel a chill run down my spine the moment I hear that voice. I am kneeling down to give Naomi a hand, so I stare upward and into her face.


Kamebuchi Keiko. The very person who we've spent the past few days investigating as much as possible. Why's she even here in the first place? We made sure to discuss things on a different floor from the one her room's on.

This works for me, though. I was in the middle of looking for you, Shishimai Rinka.

The tone of her voice is chilling, but her saying my full name out loud makes it ice cold. I step forward in an attempt to keep Naomi from her line of sight, but there's no way she hasn't noticed her.

Your little friend seems to have had a lovely discussion with my husband. It must be nice, having someone to cooperate with you...

I can't find an appropriate response. Much like our first meeting, I risk putting myself in danger if I say anything without thinking first.

There's no need to panic, Rinka. I just want to discuss things with you.

Discuss things...?

There's no doubt the discussion will be regarding Divine Selection. A few moments later, I nod my head.

You can't!

You may leave. I'm only interested in Rinka.

Don't worry. If she just wants to talk, then that's fine.

I nod reassuringly at Naomi, who looks worried sick over the situation.

Even so... be careful...

I already said there's no need to panic. I'm not here to hurt her. I just want to talk. How about we go to the lounge upstairs? It should be rather empty at this time, and I'd much rather not discuss things in my room where other patients are around.

As for your little friend, she can wait right here. I'd hate for her to try and eavesdrop.

I follow her after that, leaving Naomi, who looks as worried as ever, behind.


Cardbook has updated.

I – Name – Shishimai Rinka
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Cause of Death – Fire
VIII – Name – Kamebuchi Keiko
VIII – Cause of Death – Brain Hemorrhage
IX – Regret – Gold Medal

I – Name – Shishimai Rinka
VIII – Name – Kamebuchi Keiko
VIII – Cause of Death – Brain Hemorrhage