The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 47: First Meeting at the Library

BGM: Rinka's Room

06/04 (MON), Night
Once home, all I can do is think about what Yu said. About how I don't have it in me to elect him. It's true that he asked me to do so. But I never even had the opportunity to apologize for denying him that request. I open up my card book once more.

This is still here, at least.

As suspected, his memories have returned. His mother's cooking was a regret born from his amnesia. There's no doubt it was rooted deep in his psyche, but also inherently different from the regret he held before losing his memories. By that logic, it's odd that his name card didn't disappear along with his regret after regaining his memories. But the name card is still here... If the cards are based on personal perception, then it makes sense.

So... two possibilities exist. The first is that he had no name before. The second is that he doesn't consider his previous name to be his real one. I'm leaning toward that idea. For example, he wants to distance himself from his previous self due to some bad experiences. Shigetsugu conjectured that his skill in combat came from being in an environment that demanded it. If that's the case, then he's likely been through all sorts of things that a normal person like me can't even imagine.

Maybe I was too cruel...

I can understand why he'd want to be eliminated to avoid remembering what all he'd gone through. He's likely struggling with his past right now. My own hesitation has caused him to suffer. It's something I should've realized with ease, yet I unconsciously avoided it. Eliminating another is the same as killing them. I was simply too scared to shoulder that sin.

I wonder what Naomi would say if she heard all this...

What would I have done if she were here? If she shouldered that sin with me? Things are different from before, though. I'm not sure how she'd react to me possibly eliminating someone.

There's no point in thinking about this. No one else can understand how I feel...

Once again, I seal the cap on my emotions. I opt to run away. All the while, overlooking the future in store for me.


BGM: Silence

06/08 (FRI), Evening
In the end, I spend my days following that as normal. The only notable difference is everyone getting ready for the culture festival. I put a temporary hold on my efforts to gather information, too. Mainly because I was curious about what Yu said. I expect him to make some sort of move against me, so I've been half-heartedly watching out for that.

I make sure to fill Miharu in, too. Somewhat ironic how I chose to not form a pact with her, and yet we're practically working together. We haven't shared the details of one another's' cards, but that's about it. Miharu seems to be at something of a loss regarding how to proceed, herself. As for Alan and Numeral XI, I haven't seen either of them since our last encounter. Alan did mention that he was trying to get his hands on information pertaining to that duo, so it's possible that both parties are scouting each other out now.

Ugh. Things can't go on like this.

BGM: Town

I decide to go for a walk through the park to take my mind off things. The culture festival starts tomorrow and ends Sunday. I shouldn't have to worry about being elected this week, so long as I don't do the same to anyone else. I hope that things settle down a bit during the culture festival since I've been hitting a wall so much recently. I need to get out my frustrations today in order to accomplish that, though. Sitting down on my favorite bench, I gaze at the buildings in the distance. A single crow flies past, which makes the clock tower that already stands out all the more captivating. I still find it hard to believe that this is the final destination Parca mentioned. To me, it's a place I associate with memories of my childhood and my talk with Naomi a while back.

I have to admit, I'm surprised Miharu didn't tear me a new one on Monday. Maybe something changed within her during Divine Selection. Actually, hang on... If anyone's changed, it's me. I'm able to talk things out with her now. The same might apply to her. I've noticed that we've been keeping fewer things from each other. People can't forcefully change one another, but the way we interact with others can change along with us. That said, Naomi never changed her attitude toward me, despite how I treated her. She did everything she could to maintain the status quo. I understand the weight behind her offer to share responsibility with me far more than I did back then.



My phone rings as if in response to my mumbling. I open up my text app only to learn that it's none other than Naomi. The text reads, “What is it?” That's odd. It's like she heard what I just said, but that can't be. I didn't butt dial her or anything.

BGM: Naomi


I hear a voice come from behind me. Part of me thinks I'm hearing things.

Gah! Naomi?!

S-Sorry! I didn't intend to surprise you like that.

D-Don't worry about it... Shouldn't you be preparing for tomorrow?

We've mostly finished setting up, so we all decided to go home early today. Of course, we have to wake up extra early tomorrow to make up for it. Have you ever gone through not being able to sleep the night before a big excursion?

Not really...

H-How very like you. Er, I was one of those kids, myself. So, well... I was going through something similar today, with the nerves and all, so I figured I might calm down if I came here... and I found you.

I, um, actually really like this place, so I've been coming every now and then ever since you first brought me.

She struggles to hide her shy expression, not to mention her flushed cheeks. I feel myself cracking a smile.

You are the class leader, so I guess you've got stuff on your mind.

D-Don't put me under more pressure than I am already, please...! I hardly stand out and this is the first time I've done something like this... It doesn't help that I've always been introverted...

Haha. You'll be all right.

I know I shouldn't laugh, but there's just something inherently adorable about her. Part of me is envious over her ability to worry so much over something like this. But that isn't the main reason I find myself smiling.

I don't think I could ever imagine things turning out like this when we first met.

D-Don't bring that up, please! I'll die of embarrassment...!

It was around the beginning of April, wasn't it? Feels like so long ago, now...


BGM: The Memory Remains

It was the Saturday after the first and second years had their entrance and opening ceremonies, respectively. Class ended in the morning for us that day, but I was told to stay behind and finish all the homework I hadn't handed in. Not that it was my fault I hadn't done it. Gran was going to the countryside at the end of March, so I spent most of my time helping her with her luggage and making preparations for living on my own. Not to mention the time spent learning the ropes so Lion House could stay open. Those were all personal circumstances, though. Bringing them up with my teachers felt like I'd just be making excuses, so I refused. Thus, I ended up retreating into the library to get it all done.

The place was empty because the new term had just begun... with the exception of one person.

There we go...

That person was Hitsuji Naomi, who had just started her life at Amecha. “She must be a real bookworm to visit the library already.” That was my first impression of her. I made my way over to an empty seat, piling up all the homework waiting to be done. Naomi sat not too far from me, reading through a big pile of books. Thinking back, she must be a speed reader, considering she planned to finish the whole lot.

Does she enjoy reading books here?

I couldn't help but ponder aloud. She could've made some coffee and gotten cozy on her own bed to read if she just took them home. Granted, it wasn't my place to question her logic while I sat there to finish homework at the beginning of the new term. I'm not even sure how long we were in there for. All I remember was that it had grown pitch black outside. Just as I was about to leave to avoid being shouted at for staying past opening hours, I noticed that Naomi was still there. She wasn't reading, though. She looked like she was searching for something. She made her way through the bookshelves, checking the spines one by one.

Oh, no...

I can't recall if she said those exact words or not, but I did hear some sort of panicked noise. Her expression and attitude made it all the more apparent.

Hey, something the matter?

O-Oh, sorry... I was just about to leave...

It's fine. I'm just a student. Did something happen? You seem troubled.

Er, I... Uh...

Her reaction forced me to remember my bad reputation. Mao said that rumors about me spread like wildfire, even over the most minor of things, so the first years may already be aware of me. Golden streaks in my hair, an intimidating expression, and petite. It hurt to admit it, but most people would recognize someone with such specific traits. Judging by her demeanor, it's obvious that she's too scared to talk.

Whatever. You're looking for something, right? Just tell me what it is and I'll look around on my own.

Huh...? B-But...

It won't be long until a teacher kicks us out. If you don't want me to help, fine, but it seems important to you.

I have fond memories of how funny her reaction to that was. Her eyes darted all over as she struggled to find a reply. Eventually, she stared right at me before speaking up.

I... I accidentally put my notebook on a shelf instead of a book... I was reading a book at the same time, so I didn't even notice when I did it...

I take it you're the clumsy type?

Apparently she received the notebook from her mom as an enrollment gift. Losing it that fast might earn her a record or two. She'd probably get a prize in innovation for the way she did so, too. That said, I felt bad for her. It didn't seem likely that anyone would stumble across it, considering how many books the library had. Things would only get more difficult as the days passed and people switched them in and out, too. That's why I decided to help her out.

A teacher eventually did come along to chase us off. I stopped searching at that point, instead opting to buy Naomi some time. An hour or so later, she managed to find it.


Th-Thank you so much for your help! You even went and convinced the teacher for me...

I'm not sure what I did counts as convincing, but hey. I'm glad you found it. Better make your way home now.

U-Umm... Could we... go to the station together...?

People are gonna start rumors about you if they catch you with me.

R-Rumors...? Why would they?

You should know. Weren't you scared of me earlier?

Scared...? O-Oh, not at all! I was just... embarrassed over what I'd done. I may be the only person to lose something like that...

That's probably true.

I felt dumb for worrying about my reputation. She didn't know, and my appearance hadn't intimidated her. It wasn't all that special a moment when I think about it, but somehow... I felt like it was.

Shishimai Rinka. Pleased to meet you.

Hitsuji Naomi... P-Pleased to meet you.

I think it took less than a week for her to become more casual around me. Oh, it's worth noting that she tripped over herself on our way to the station. There was nothing special about how we met, yet it was a memorable occasion to me, regardless.


BGM: Silence

Both of us laugh as we talk about the past.

BGM: Naomi
Why'd you have that notebook out in the library, anyway?

I make sure to note down the title of whatever I've read and my thoughts. You could say it's my diary, of sorts. My thoughts on certain books change depending on when I read them, too.

It's taken two months, but now my curiosity is sated. It makes sense, considering how organized she is.

Hey, about Monday-
Um, can I ask about-

We both speak at the same time, interrupting one another. The embarrassment that follows leads to a brief silence.


We do it a second time, but now Naomi smiles.

Ehehe. You go first.

Thanks... I wanted to wait until after the culture festival, but this feels like a good time. I want to apologize for the way I treated you. Sorry for trying to wedge a wall between us. That was selfish of me.

N-Not at all... I know you did it out of concern, so there's no need to apologize...

Her eyes are darting all over again, but I make sure to keep my eyes on her. I need her to understand that she shouldn't hold back. Noticing that, she nods.

Nothing's changed since then. I'm still as weak as ever. So, if you're fine with it, then-

Naomi cuts me off with a hug. She pulls me right in and squeezes hard enough that I feel each of her fingers caressing my back.

You already know the answer to that question...

Thanks, Naomi.

O-Oh! Sorry for hugging you out of nowhere!

She pushes herself away from me, leaving her hands out in front of her. I grab both with my right hand and then place my left on top.

You should focus on tomorrow and Sunday for now, though.


We spend some time chatting away following that. Once the park is about to close, we leave. It really is strange. The time we spent together in the park was brief, but it made me feel far better than I had in a long time.