The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 39: Memories Within the Drawer

BGM: Town

The bedroom's on the second floor. Could you take him up while I put on some tea?

Geez... Fine.

I sigh again from being forced to carry a boy upstairs despite carrying him the whole way home. Today's been nothing but sighs.

Here it is...

The bedroom door is half-open already, so it is easy to find my destination. I approach the futon and lean down to let him off.


He grabs onto my arm.


Mmm... Mum...

He must be confusing me with the mom appearing in his dream. His tiredness gets the best of him though, and he lets my arm go right after. The strength of his grip was shocking.

I guess he is a boy, after all.

Even though he still looks like a girl to me. Honestly, I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking it. Just look at that face. On the flipside, I'd probably be feeling pretty nervous right now if he looked both his age and his gender. He must be around two or so years younger than me, so even if that were the case, I'd probably be fine.

What's that...?

I notice a half-opened drawer out of the corner of my eye. After I make sure that Shigetsugu isn't coming upstairs, I make my way over to it.

BGM: The Memory Remains
Sure, it's a half-open drawer, but it's dark in here. I can't see inside. So... I open it nice and slow. I was worried that the noise accompanying it would wake the boy up, but it didn't. I can still barely see inside even after opening it up, so I light it up with my phone.


The shelf is full of old photos. Easily over one hundred. Upon closer inspection, some are relatively new. The contents are mostly the same. Family pictures. Featured in them are an old couple, their grandson, and his parents. The grandfather has to be Shigetsugu.

BGM: Silence

Not one to miss any details, are you?

My shoulders stiffen in response to the quiet voice from behind me.

You sure were taking your time, so I came up to call you down for tea. Come.

All I can do is nod without turning around.


BGM: Town

Much like this afternoon, he's made tea for me. But unlike then, I take my time drinking it. Too bad that doesn't help make it taste any better.

I'm sorry for looking at those photos without permission.

I'm the one who left it open, so there's no need to apologize. I might as well say that you're free to eliminate me too, while I'm at it.


There's certainly nothing wrong with an old man like myself getting a few more years out of his life, but truth be told, I'm not concerned about it.

With just that, I understand the meaning behind those photos.

That's... your regret, isn't it?

The family that he held so dear. There were a few pictures of them abroad, as well. He's living alone now, but it's likely that the rest of his family stayed here at some point.

An old man like me has no reason to have hope for the future. That's why I catch myself wishing to go back to those days...

A regret rooted neither in the present nor the future, but the past. Parca said that one's regret represents the future, but that's not always the case. Regret is born from something you can't bring yourself to give up on. In that sense, it's logical that wanting to go back to better times can become one's regret.

You can't go back to the past, though...

Hoho. I'm aware. Being with him has helped me to overcome my loneliness, though. It brings back good memories.

Can you still say that, knowing it won't last?

I believe we see things different. Such a reality doesn't scare me in the slightest.

His tone makes it clear he has no ulterior motive.

My sole concern is whether or not he would be able to live a happy life, should he survive Divine Selection.

I hope you're not expecting an answer from me...

You must have an idea regarding his regret, yes?

His question takes me by surprise.

I've heard him mumble in his sleep a number of times, as well. Those must be the memories that hide deep within his psyche. I noticed your surprise over something as we were walking back.

I figured he hadn't noticed at the time, but he simply chose to keep quiet. This old man really is a mystery.

Both of our regrets are similar. Both are rooted in the past, never to come to fruition.

That's why you're worried about whether or not he can find happiness after this is all over. Don't tell me that's really why you wanted me to carry him...!

Heavens, no. Even I wouldn't do something that cruel. It was pure coincidence.

He laughs it off, but that doesn't quell my suspicion.

What exactly is your goal here?

Nothing's going to come from letting him control the conversation. I'm not sure if he's doing it on purpose or if that's just the kind of person he is, but I'm over it.

Could I ask you to make him some dinner?

...You want to repeat that?

How about this? If you do me this favor just once, I'll tell you my cause of death.

You're missing the point here!

All I want is to help him overcome his regret, even if just a little.

He pauses briefly before explaining.

Cooking isn't my forte, to say the least. I've only been able to provide him with ready-made meals from convenience stores and supermarkets.

Can't you just try and cook him something, then?

Hohoho. My daughter-in-law once said the same thing.

So you did live together at one point, then...

Only for a few years after my son's marriage. My wife passed away some time before then, so both of them came to live with me. They left not long before my grandchild was born, though. I haven't seen much of them since.

There is a tinge of sadness in his voice as he recalls the past. His regret may have come about during the time when they were living here. I've never seen him look so emotional. That's all I needed to confirm that his regret is rooted in those days.

Goodness. We certainly got off topic. What I'm trying to say is that there's no point in it being my cooking.

But tha- Wait a minute...

I finally catch on to why he's so particular about this.

His regret... wouldn't happen to be about his mother's cooking, would it?

Light spills forth from my bag the moment I ask. It has to be in response to my having figured out Number IV's regret. A regret he'll never be able to fulfill. Shigetsugu casts his eyes over to my bag for a moment, likely having understood what just happened, before continuing.

I'm not sure whether he had the opportunity to taste his own mother's cooking or not. But something unexpected happened one day while we were dining out. He was watching the TV there, where one of those everyday shows was airing. One of the characters was the mother of a child around his age.

There was a scene involving them both where the child looked elated while eating his mother's cooking. Quite your run-of-the-mill scene for such shows. But he started to cry as he watched it. He wasn't even sure why, so it must have subconsciously stirred up his forgotten memories. He'd watched TV plenty before that, but this was the first time he'd ever had such a reaction.

Having realized what was going on, my book began to glow, and thus I obtained his card.

So what, I'm supposed to be a surrogate for his mother? Don't you realize how unreasonable that is?

Of course I do. That's why I offered up my cause of death in exchange.

His tone turns far more coercive, likely in an attempt to pressure me into agreeing. The sudden change is surprising, but I hold my ground and stare him down. It isn't an attempt to hide my surprise or fear. I am just really angry with him.

You only have yourself to blame for your regret.

I'm aware of that, too.

His painful acknowledgement is followed by him lowering his head. He lowers it so far that his head almost touches the floor.

I realize now that treating this like a deal won't work. But please, hear me out. It may simply be an attempt to satisfy my own ego. Even so, I'd like you to make something for him.

I need time to think. What's the correct way to respond to this? It's entirely possible that Numeral IV won't be able to fulfill his regret even if he lives through this. Not to mention that there's no way my cooking will help him to do so. What happens after I do all this? Assuming I get Shigetsugu's cause of death and use it to eliminate him, what would happen after that? Is he even thinking that far ahead?

I want to do anything I can for him.

That statement alone tells me that he isn't. At the same time, it tells me just how much he cares. It's the same mindset I had toward Sonya, after all.

...I'll do it.


On one condition. It's already late, so I'll make dinner for him tomorrow. But after that, I'm cutting all ties with you both. So don't hold it against me if I eliminate either of you down the line. Make sure to tell him this as well.

Understood. As I've said, I have no intention of going after other participants in the first place. But keep in mind that I won't be able to stop him, should he decide to eliminate others.

A brief, tense silence follows his claim. He isn't bluffing. That much I can tell.

That's fine. It pretty much describes the situation as it stands.

I answer without much hesitation. My best option is to lower the chance that I become their target. Granted, I've already settled on agreeing to his proposition before taking that into consideration. His desire hits too close to home for me to refuse.

Perhaps life would have been different had I been able to handle things like this in the past...

He mutters under his breath. He likely intended for me not to hear him.

I'm going home. For real this time. I'll be back around 6 p.m. tomorrow. Don't worry about the shopping, I'll handle it.

Very well. It's about time I wake him up, too.

I watch as he pulls himself up onto his feet.

Is something the matter?

You still owe me for the coffee milk. While we're at it, I want money for tomorrow's shopping, too. You'll get your change back when I arrive.

Stingy youngsters.

It's common courtesy!

I agreed to cook for him, but I certainly won't be preparing a five-star meal. I'm sure that Shigetsugu will wriggle out of paying me back unless I demand it right now, so there you have it. He eventually gives in and hands me three 1000 yen notes. After that, I can finally leave.


BGM: Rinka's Room

I crash down onto my bed as soon as I arrive.

Ahhh, geez!

Been a while since I last screamed into my pillow.

Miharu would be like, 'Are you an idiot?' if she were here...

Without thinking, I talk to myself out loud. Not only did I succeed in gathering info about Shigetsugu, but I also met the boy staying with him. And I somehow agreed to cook that boy dinner. I didn't let myself be influenced this time, though. I agreed to do it of my own volition. Dangerous as it may be to get involved with other participants, there's something far more important to figure out. Do I have what it takes to eliminate them after getting this attached? I need to find my answer to that before I obtain all their cards.

Time for a shower...

Lucky for me, I've already gotten used to putting off the questions I can't answer yet.


Cardbook has updated.

I – Name – Shishimai Rinka
II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Cause of Death – Fire
IV – Regret – Mother's Home Cooking
V – Name – Ushizuka Shigetsugu
V – Regret – Back when I was Close with Family
VIII – Name – Kamebuchi Keiko
VIII – Cause of Death – Brain Hemorrhage
VIII – Regret – Child's Name
IX – Regret – Gold Medal
X – Name – Sofiya Priessnitz Alexeievna
X – Regret – Seeing the World
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion

II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
IV – Cause of Death – Fire
IV – Regret – Mother's Home Cooking

II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
IV – Regret – Mother's Home Cooking
V – Name – Ushizuka Shigetsugu
V – Cause of Death – Death from Starvation
V – Regret – Back when I was Close with Family