The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 53: The Four Strange Ones

BGM: Chilling With Sidekicks
H-Hold on! I know that face...

Why are you here...?

They are the only customers in the small bar. Both are already drinking something. One drink is the color of oak and the other is pink. Miharu is used to serving alcohol at her job, so she can tell that one is whiskey and the other is some sort of cocktail. Granted, their drinks are inconsequential to the situation at hand. Both parties expected Numeral IX's accomplice to be someone unrelated to Divine Selection, it seems.

I'll explain later.

He whispers to Miharu, although she has already gotten a general grasp of the situation.

Wanna explain yourself, Steel?! You know full well that Hebinata Miharu's our enemy!

Shut it, Federico. How come you always get so worked up?

Dammit, Odette! Don't call me by my real name when we're using a fake one for Steel!

My apologies, Monsieur Carminati.

You're gonna pay for that...

Sorry about the racket, young lady. I'm Odette Malencon. Gotta admit, I wasn't expecting to meet you here. Us two were minding our own business when this guy came up to us and asked to cooperate.

What do you two think you're doing?

You ain't got no right to say that!

Your name's Miharu, right? You sure took me by surprise way back when.

I'm not quite sure how to respond to that, Madam Malencon.

Heh. Looks like this situation's taken you by surprise, at least. Good enough for me.

Let's call it even with that, so have a seat. How's about we talk things out over a drink? My treat. And just call me Odette.

I'm still a minor, so I'll pass on anything with alcohol. May I have some milk instead?

Damn, the high school kids in this country are so uptight. Whatever.

Miharu makes her way toward the bar, her heart thumping faster and faster. She may be calm and composed more often then not, but a situation like this does not allow for that. Try as she might to find the right way to act, the answer continues to elude her. The information she has committed to memory regarding Odette is of no help, either. She is impossible to read face to face. Steel does not control the situation. She does.

Anyway, now we know you're not some broad who looks like Miharu. It was faint, but I noticed a light shining in your bag. You should have both our name cards now.

Is that what the whole charade was for?

No way. Ain't that right, Steel?

Putting me in a tricky spot, aren't you? Haha...

You're the one who brought up cooperation knowing that only one of us will survive this. I'm sure you understand just how critical trust is here. We gave you our names, which just so happen to be vital to one's success. I assume you know where I'm going with this...? Here's your milk.

BGM: Intel Investigation Underway
Odette's approach does not feel like she is pressuring anyone. She simply asks in a calm and even tone, all while swirling her glass of whiskey. Miharu takes this as an opportunity to judge her character. She figures that Odette is not all brawn and no brains, based on what she heard from Sonya, but she never expected her to be this hearty and talkative. Once Odette hands off the milk, Miharu drips in some syrup and takes a sip.

If it's my name you want, it's my name you'll get.

That makes life easier. You'd have been our next target if you hesitated now.

Christ, how selfish can you get? What would you have done if either of them already had our info?

Easy. We'd have uncovered their info before the next election. Anyway, time to spill the beans.

Numeral IX takes a deep breath before opening his mouth.

Name's Scale Jones. Can't tell you my occupation, but my blood type's O. That good enough for you?

Heh. That'll do.

Miharu's card book shines the moment he reveals his name. It serves as proof that he's telling the truth. Odette downs the rest of her whiskey before demanding another glass. Miharu may not have had any alcohol before, but she is aware that whiskey is at least 40% proof. The smell alone is enough to put off most people her age, but seeing Odette gulp it down without issue gives her a genuine shock.

BGM: A Time of Healing

Yo, Federico. Japan's whiskey ain't bad! Want some?

Nah, I'm good. Sometimes I just wanna enjoy a nice and sweet cocktail. Well, mainly because they don't got no good wine here.

Maybe I should get something, too... Something strong.

There's a pang of anxiety in Scale's voice as he orders a drink that Miharu is unfamiliar with. A wave of relief washes over him as he takes a swig. Seeing that, Miharu comes to understand what people mean when they say they need a drink to get by. No normal person could keep up with someone like Odette. Federico seems to be hiding in her shadow, but he's not normal either, based on how composed he is despite being around her. Miharu keeps her mind occupied in this manner as a means to keep her wits about her.

I dunno how he managed to drag you all this way, but I assume you get the gist of things based on the people gathered here.

That guy's using this as a way to see who's worth teaming up with. Talk about twisted.

Thank you for the warning, but there's no need to worry. I'm aware of his tactics. You didn't gather us here to eliminate Numeral IV. So I assume our target is none other than Alan Scorpion. Correct?

Hahaha! Spectacular!

He seems to be enjoying himself more than he was a few moments ago. Miharu cannot help but wonder if the alcohol has started to do its job already.


BGM: Intel Investigation Underway

Me and Odette were staying at a hotel in Japan when the sixth election took place.

That's the first time we came out of an election without any eliminations.

Heh, talk about unusual. Guess we couldn't do much about it, considering the circumstances.

I'd made a decent recovery since that kid did a number on me. I wasn't completely better yet, though. Making a recovery, to me, just meant that I could move around again.

So what happened to the kid's card at the end there?

Uh, like I said, it disappeared. Dunno how when it was one of my starting cards, but it did. Chances are it happened during the fifth election, just before the old man got eliminated. The same thing seems to have happened to Alan as well, although it was after he eliminated him.

Alan Scorpion. It wasn't hard for us to find out his name because he's a world-famous jeweler. But that's literally all we could find out. Neither of us started out with any of his cards, either. The current discussion was about how one of Odette's cards disappeared, which tied to him. After he eliminated old man Shigetsugu, he obtained Numeral IV's regret card. And yet, that card shattered the moment he reached out to grab it.

My card disappeared the exact same way his did. I dunno how many other people had Numeral IV's cards, but odds are all but the cause of death card have disappeared. Only thing I can think of is that the contents changed. I get how a name can change, but the regret? That's got me puzzled.

Especially when you consider that everyone's personal perception plays a big part in the rules for Divine Selection.

Curious about the whole 'No Name' thing before that, too. Did they just not have a name?

That one's simple. They either never had the chance to be named by their parents, or they ditched their past and old name. The former's pretty common for war orphans.

Ditched their past... Some people would adopt new names after doing such a thing in my line of business, too. Wait! That explains things!

I came up with a possible answer all on my own. Numeral IV was probably given a name during Divine Selection- one that they considered to be their true name. Odette usually reached conclusions based on situational evidence, but it looked like I was picking up that habit, as well. Couldn't say I was too big on it, but judging by her expression, we were thinking the same thing.

Seems like a school here was the target of a terrorist attack recently. When you think about it, plenty of terrorists work alone. Add in the fact that kids are harder to detect, especially here in Japan, and...

It ain't no coincidence, huh...

We might be at some kind of deadlock for the moment, but we could still make some sort of progress. Even if we didn't do anything crazy, someone else was more than willing to step up. As if to prove that, the very same day we got an unexpected visitor: Numeral IX- some suspicious American calling himself Steel.


Alan Scorpion's elimination... Miharu brings up the topic as frankly as possible.

Wouldn't you assume Numeral IV to be our first target based on recent events?

Perhaps. His actions serve as a means to provoke us, so it's hard not to take notice. But you all made it clear that you have no intention of letting him provoke you.

You're a bit too sharp for my tastes. Never was one for dating girls as smart as you. But, hey... I wouldn't complain about a night or two.

How about you quit talking crap and learn a thing or two from her?

Moving on... So far, Alan has instigated the most elections out of all of us. Chances are he has the most cards, too. That's why it's ideal for all of us to team up and deal with him. Am I right, Scale?

It's common knowledge that he was able to turn his jewelry business into a worldwide operation all on his own.

His actions early on during Divine Selection, coupled with his celebrity status, have led to Japan's police force keeping their eyes on him. Trespassing, obstruction of business, that sort of stuff. He's a real criminal to them. But here's the thing. He's got connections with both the Indian and Japanese governments through his business.

His influence isn't big enough for them to outright ignore him, but they're making sure the police have their hands tied.

BGM: Villain
That ain't all. His information network's probably the trickiest part about him.

Pretty much. If he knows your name, then you might as well give in to the fact that he probably knows your entire background as well. You're lucky that I'm the one who scouted you all out. Might wanna act a bit more careful from here on.

Yeah, yeah. As if you don't got any good sources of your own.

I'd prefer if you didn't compare me to someone with a conglomerate behind him, thank you very much.

Heh. I like that you ain't denying it. Well, whatever. If we're gonna cooperate, then knowing each other's names is the bare minimum condition for me. I'm sure you're aware of what'll happen if you try to pull anything funny, too.

Scale grimaces over that proclamation before taking another sip of his drink. He must not have appreciated the open threat. After he gulps his drink, he shifts the topic.

BGM: Intel Investigation Underway

Now then, chances are Alan will end up coming out of this whole thing as the winner if we let him keep at it. That's what I think, at least. There's no justice in someone like him winning. As I said, he's nothing but a criminal now. Let's not even get into the things he's probably done to get where he is now. He's a villain, no doubt about it!

Heh. He's rather into this, isn't he?

Miharu whispers to herself quietly so Scale does not hear her. He doesn't seem to be lying about his belief that participants either do or don't deserve to make it through Divine Selection. The irony is that he's willing to team up with people like Odette and Federico. Miharu is unsure how things will play out down the line, but right now she can at least keep a watchful eye on him.

We can't let someone like Alan run wild, especially after what Numeral IV pulled. Alan's likely to target him now. Should he succeed, he'll have yet another card at his disposal. Letting him gain even more of an advantage only spells disaster for us. That's why we need to work together to eliminate him now!

So you say, but you're struggling to get any meaningful information on him, aren't you?

That's part of it, yeah. Few people know what he was up to when we all kicked the bucket, and he's made sure that those who would have kept quiet about it. I can't do this on my own. That's why I approached you.

Heh... Must suck to have Federico call you out on something. You sure you wanna partner up with us after all that talk about justice and such? Your card book didn't react when we told you our names, so you must've gotten a hold of them at some point. Probably around the time you came to our hotel.

I can only assume you know everything about our backgrounds and how, well... villainous we are.

Crap! Seriously?!

Like I said, we're only cooperating in order to eliminate Alan Scorpion and Numeral IV. I've already come to accept that this is a necessary evil. I'll make it perfectly clear: we're not here to make friends. You two are my targets after those other two are gone. I'm sure you were thinking the same about me.

Sounding like a proper villain yourself with that line, bud. Mind if I ask where the young lady falls in regards to all this?

Miharu listens in bewilderment. To her, it sounds like the alcohol has caused them to discuss things completely unrelated to the topic at hand.

I would appreciate if you settled your little squabble over whether or not you'll be cooperating without me, first.

Miharu may have succumbed to Odette's threatening nature at first, but it was only a matter of time before she settled down. Their lighthearted conversation is a likely contribution. She holds nothing but fear for them in the Court of Fate, but here they seem like regular people.

Try not to tease Scale too much, Odette. I'm starting to feel sorry for him.

Oh, you caught on? Is that what they call a woman's intuition? Hmm... You're a bit younger than I imagined, but plenty mature. How about we ditch these losers and go somewhere else?

Miharu takes a step back upon hearing his proposition. Words aren't necessary when her expression shows the answer.

You're a dumbass, you know that? Well, I can't blame you for thinking she's probably got the moves... Anyway, I ain't against partnering up. Just wanted to call you out for contradicting yourself. Hate to admit it, but we're also struggling.

You're a lot more troublesome in person than I imagined, madam. Hahaha. So now we're officially partners until we eliminate Alan. Let's save making a plan of attack for later and seal the deal with another round. You want something yet, Miharu?

BGM: Silence

I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask that you all swallow something other than alcohol first.

Miharu holds out her empty glass with a bold smile. Odette does not seem too bothered, but both Federico and Scale obviously are. Their expressions are full of worry over what she will say next.

BGM: Villain

I happen to know Alan's cause of death. It was part of my initial set.

You what...?

For real?!

You may have reliable information networks at your disposal, but it's not enough to counter the advantage I have in already possessing the card itself.

Guess we gotta swallow your conditions first, huh? Fine, go ahead.

Hehe. Indeed. If we're going to cooperate, then I ask that we target Numeral IV first. Scale is already aware of this, but it was Amecha Girls' University High School that he targeted. My school. There was only one casualty as a result, but it just so happened to be an underclassman I knew.

So what, you'll tell us Alan's cause of death if we help you eliminate the kid?

Miharu nods.

Damn. Hurts to imagine a cutie like you can have revenge on her mind.

I'm fairly sure she isn't seeking revenge here, Federico. Should a participant be eliminated, their actions since the start of Divine Selection will be undone. That's one of the rules. You're looking to bring your friend back through eliminating him, aren't you?

You're free to interpret my intentions however you wish.

Hahaha! Count me in! There are fewer things more just than wanting to save a friend! Numeral IV's actions undoubtedly make him evil. All we're doing is changing the order in which we do things. The reason why his regret card disappeared remains a mystery, but I get the feeling that the four of us can get past that.

Thoughts, Odette? It'll take a bit longer overall, but we're guaranteed to get our hands on Alan's cause of death while eliminating another participant at the same time.

Did you consider the possibility of us turning you down?

I considered it wasn't likely. Scale's decision to leave Numeral IV for later was likely due to the fact that one of his cards was among those he started with. He wouldn't bring up the topic of his regret card disappearing without a reason, after all. At the same time, you not bringing it up whatsoever is somewhat suspect...

The odds are in Miharu's favor. The rest relies on Odette's reaction. She is not worried about being wrong. If she is, then they will likely assume she is overthinking things.


Odette cracks a smile. Miharu's gamble is a success. That is what Odette's expression says to her. Not only did she have either a name or regret card belonging to Yu, but she also witnessed it disappear in response to its change of contents. Miharu notices Scale's expression turn far more serious, too. She nods to herself with confidence, having confirmed that her suspicions were right.

You're right. I had that kid's name card and saw it disappear with my own eyes. By process of elimination, Scale must've had his regret card. You do realize this entire scenario is why we were leaving that kid for last, right? We can't act if there's no solid guarantee things'll work out.

Prioritizing him just ain't gonna happen if you don't have another surprise in store for us. Something like... knowing his cause of death.

True enough, haha! But hey, I agreed to this assuming she knew that much.

Hehehe. But of course. I don't know his cause of death, though. Just his name.

Oh-ho...? Now I'm interested.

So the name card you had didn't disappear?

So that's how it is... You managed to get your hands on the info after the cards vanished, right?

Mind telling us where and how you managed that?

I'm under no obligation to disclose that. However, I will share his name with you all should you agree to target him first. While we only know his name right now, his actions make him easy to trace. I'd say we're in a much better position to gather the rest of his information than Alan is.

Miharu casts an overt glance over to Scale. Scale seems to comprehend the meaning behind it immediately.

Leave that to me. I figured we'd be starting with his cause of death, but this actually makes things easier. Plenty of journalists are looking into that case on their own, so this should serve as a good bargaining chip. You're fine with that, right?

Miharu offers another nod. She is not quite sure just how much she can trust him, but he has already proven his ability to gather information by uncovering Odette and Federico's names.

Sucks that I won't get to stick it to that annoying bastard right away, but it ain't like we've got anything to work with. Let's go with her plan for now.

Count me in, too. Heh... Looks like all your effort was worth it.

Hehe. I'll take that as a compliment.

Thus, Miharu shares Numeral IV's name with the three of them. She also re-evaluates her opinion of them. Scale is undoubtedly hiding something. His true intentions being a mystery leads her to that conclusion. He may be suspicious, but the things he told her when they first met seem to be the truth. Yet, he still chose to team up with Odette and Federico. Federico himself lets Odette do all the work, but he's a sharp one, regardless. He's also the type of person whose actions are hard to predict. Specifically, if he snaps at some point, what he would do is anyone's guess.

As for Odette, she speaks for herself. She saw right through Miharu's nerves during their exchange. As much as she tried to look calm and composed, Odette spoke of her effort involved in doing so. She knew. It's important not to slip up when talking to her, but Miharu now understands that focusing on that too much can be just as dangerous.

BGM: Chilling With Sidekicks
Welp, let's drink up, troops!

Are you for real...? Oh well, I'm in.

Following that, Miharu exchanges phone numbers with Scale. While hesitant at first, she ultimately goes through with it after realizing she can cancel her phone contract if necessary. With that done, she leaves the bar before the others begin to celebrate. If one thing surprised her, it was her ability to engage with them at their level. At the same time, it fueled her determination to cooperate with them. It's the only way she can accomplish her goal.

It's the only way she can help Rinka smile again.


Cardbook has updated.

I – Name – Shishimai Rinka
I – Cause of Death – Death by Asphyxiation
II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Name – Yu
IX – Name – Scale Jones
X – Name – Sofiya Priessnitz Alexeievna
X – Cause of Death – Death from Sickness
X – Regret – Seeing the World
XI – Name – Odette Malencon
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion

II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Name – Yu
V – Name – Ushizuka Shigetsugu
V – Cause of Death – Death from Starvation
VII – Name – Ro Chanho
VII – Cause of Death - Stroke
IX – Name – Scale Jones
X – Name – Sofiya Priessnitz Alexeievna
XI – Name – Odette Malencon
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion

I – Name – Shishimai Rinka
II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Name – Yu
IX – Name – Scale Jones
IX – Regret – Gold Medal
XI – Name – Odette Malencon
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion

II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Name – Yu
V – Name – Ushizuka Shigetsugu
V – Cause of Death – Death from Starvation
VII – Name – Ro Chanho
VII – Cause of Death – Stroke
VII – Regret - Dog
IX – Name – Scale Jones
X – Name – Sofiya Priessnitz Alexeievna
X – Cause of Death – Death from Sickness
X – Regret – Seeing the World
XI – Name – Odette Malencon
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion