The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 69: Grit Your Teeth

BGM: Silence

06/18 (MON), Night
Um... Did things go well?

They went how you were probably worried they would.

My response leaves her a bit surprised. I'm aware of how smart Naomi is. There's no doubt she realized what we were arguing over.

BGM: Intel Investigation Underway
It's even more reason for me to find a way for both of us to survive. It's not like I don't have any leads. Take this book, for example. I never paid much attention to it, thinking it's just a tool for Divine Selection, but it might be worth having a deeper look at its design and binding... That sort of stuff.

What would you gain from doing so?

Information regarding Divine Selection. Rather, the goddess behind it.

We've been so focused on the dream world and the events in the real world being altered that we simply accepted everything about it. We never once tried to go against the rules because we let ourselves be convinced that we shouldn't. In reality, though, we should've let ourselves question the very nature of Divine Selection.

I guess we should research Parca, too. I'm not familiar with ancient myths and stuff, but there might be something about her.

I should be able to help with that! I actually did some research myself based on her claim of being a goddess. I figured I might be able to find something useful... I walked away convinced that myths are just myths in the end, but we might find something that will come in handy now.

Naomi whips out her notepad and flips to the first few pages. She must have written stuff down while researching. After reading through them a bit, she turns her attention back to me.

Parca is a generic term used for the Fates in Roman mythology. There were three in total: Decuma, Nona, and Morta. Each exists as an equivalent of the Moirai from Greek mythology. Apparently they decide the individual fates of each person at their birth.

That's close to what Parca said in the dream world. What's more, both the Court and Clock of Fate are there. The dream world itself is filled with clock and gear motifs. The numbers given to each participant coincides with those on an analog clock, too...

Time... Greek mythology's Chronos is the most well known when it comes to deities related to that, I believe.

Parca said that our three cards represent our present, past, and future.

Does that mean fate is represented through time itself...? That reminds me... The card book has gears in its design, doesn't it? A number of gears within a clock, yes? In that case, it's possible to make the connection from gears to clocks, from clocks to time, and finally time to fate, right?

You even see expressions like 'the wheel of fate' in books sometimes.

Well, that only helps us understand the motif behind the dream world. Doesn't really feel like we've gotten near the core of the matter.

Hang on... Don't you think it's a bit odd for the dream world to have a motif at all?

How so? Did you think of something?

N-Not quite, but... Parca claims to be a goddess, correct? Why would she design something to comply with motifs that regular humans would think of?

She explained that the dream world was designed in order for us to be able to percieve it because we can't under normal circumstances. If that's the case, then it only makes sense that it'd be full of stuff that we'd normally associate with fate and the like.

We just made the connections there ourselves, in fact. Plus, one's personal perception plays a vital role in the contents of one's own cards.

That makes sense, but... S-Sorry, something just feels off, despite you making a good point.

No need to apologize. Don't forget that feeling. Us participants didn't question any of this stuff.

Naomi nods, but still looks somewhat apologetic. I can't quite understand what she must be feeling, in all honesty. Chances are part of me is still convinced there's no point in overthinking things because Parca is a goddess. And here I was telling myself I'd quit that sort of thinking not long ago.

I didn't prove to be useful after all...

Don't say that. It's not true.

I should have figured something was up far sooner. Yet Naomi here is the one to go ahead and do the research before I even noticed.

I guess we should wrap things up for today. Wanna come with me to the library after school tomorrow?

The library... I'd love to!

Thanks. We'll start with the card book first.

It's already dark out, so I walk Naomi to the station. She said she'd be fine, but Odette knows all about Lion House. Which means Alan probably knows, too. I can't see them focusing their efforts on me at this point, but even so, I'd rather not let Naomi walk around at night on her own.


BGM: Chilling With Sidekicks

How many times must I repeat myself? Stop calling a regular high school student out to a shady place like this, especially when they're on their way home from work. I'm exhausted. Keep it brief.

Work, huh? You should quit that crazy joint. Looks like there's plenty of night jobs around here that pay better, too.

She's not doing it for the money, Federico. It's the atmosphere that keeps you there, isn't it?

It's the atmosphere that makes me want to quit, actually.

Miharu finds herself at MILK CROWN once more. Scale and Federico are perched on their usual seats. Naturally, Odette is nowhere to be seen.

Might I ask where Odette is?

Miharu heard the details from Rinka, but opts to play the fool. This is their first gathering since Odette had told them to leave the heavy lifting to her. Miharu finds herself curious about the two parties' exchanges between then and today.

Surely you're keen enough to realize she defected. What's more, she took the information I provided and used it to eliminate Yu. All while cooperating with your friend, too.

She probably worked together with Alan.

What makes you say that?

Just a hunch. Rinka can't fight her way out of a paper bag, can she?

That comment doesn't sit well with Miharu, but she lets Federico continue.

The news was talking about some dude that got shot but disappeared. Alan's the only one who could've pulled that off.

Good point. That leaves us with the issue of whether or not Odette and Alan are still working together. Rinka may be as well, but we probably don't need to worry about her.

Could swing either way, really. Odette had nothing but praise for his information network.

Well, that makes their elimination our top priority.

Scale, Federico, and Miharu versus Rinka, Odette, and Alan. That is the situation these two are imagining, but Miharu knows this isn't the case. There are three teams, not two: Scale and Federico, Miharu and Rinka, and Odette and Alan. Two versus two versus one. Miharu's goal is to obscure Rinka's participation.

Taking both on at the same time seems like a recipe for disaster. I could tell you his cause of death right now, but you still have no leads on his regret, correct?

I went through all the public statements and interviews with him thus far, but it's as you say. I've been looking into his personal life, but right now all I've got is information about his family.

His family?

His mother died of an illness while he was young and his father was murdered when he was sixteen.

Murdered? How'd that happen?

His father was running a small jeweler business on his own. He'd buy up ore from the mines within India and sell it off to the manufacturing companies themselves. I'm not sure if the money is what changed him or not, but he started to get greedy at some point. He started to loan money out to those who wanted it.

And well, moneylenders aren't exactly the nicest people in the world. It's easier to say he was a loan shark more than anything else. That's how bad it got.

So basically, someone with a grudge smoked him? It's his own fault for getting done in, then.

Federico's claim held extra weight because he had done the same work as Alan's father during his days in the mafia. Scale shrugs in agreement.

Well then...

Miharu is able to establish a link between this information and the cause of death she is privy to.

Alan's exploits in using his father's connections after that to build up his company and make a fortune, all while in his teens, are pretty well known. Speaking of his family, he currently has four younger brothers and one sister. His income is what's supporting them, it seems.

Wouldn't that make his family his regret, then?

I figured that myself, but no dice. That's about all I have, intel-wise.

I already tried stuff related to his business and fortune, but nope. You're all I got here, man.

His family definitely seems suspect. I won't promise anything myself, but I've already got a bud on the case. He'll get a hefty reward out of it, so I can't see him not coming through.

One of your 'buds', huh?

Oops! Can't risk revealing my own information here. Think of 'em as a journalist of sorts.

Miharu nods her head once again.

I guess I'll be keeping his cause of death to myself for now.

Huh?! Why's that?!

My position's no different from Rinka's in the other group. You can cut me off with ease once you think I've outlived my usefulness.

Hahaha! Only natural to think like that. I'm fine with you keeping it to yourself until we uncover his regret. Makes it easier to proceed knowing we don't need to worry about his cause of death.

Guess us two gotta put in the work, then.

I'm aware. You're going against Odette, aren't you? Must be tough going up against a former comrade.

You sure know how to piss people off, don't you? Not as bad as Odette, though. Anyway, I've already figured out her cause of death.

Really? When did you manage that?

Last night. Something came to mind when I was looking at my wounds. Can't spill the details since it's related to my own info, but both of us were in the same place when we died.

She had a big wound on her stomach back then. As you saw, that wound was gone when Divine Selection kicked off. Easy to assume that was her cause of death.

Federico takes a card from his book, allowing both to glance at it. The contents read as follows:

Numeral XI – Blood loss

Miharu and Scale are unable to obtain the card themselves, however. Both understand that this is due to their lack of knowledge as to how that came to pass.

Ahh... I'm rather amazed you forgot about that until now.

S-Shut it! Hard to remember the important stuff when you're stuck around that beast all the time!

You were both at the same place when you died? Wouldn't it be safe to assume she knows your cause of death, as well?

Yup. I figured that much. I guarantee she doesn't know my regret, though. Wouldn't make sense if she did, but opted not to elect me during the last election after I stabbed her in the back.

That does make sense.

More importantly, you said you've got a lead on her regret, right?

I recall you saying that, too. Federico has a good chance of electing her at this rate. Would you mind revealing that info to us?

Do keep in mind that I only mentioned having a lead. I don't have a solid idea of what it is. This is probably the best time to reveal it, so I'll go ahead and do so if you're fine with that.

BGM: Intel Investigation Underway

I'm fairly sure it's related to the concept of her child.

Miharu makes sure to explain her reasoning. Sofiya served as the trigger for this line of thought. Odette granted her the opportunity to see the world for herself. She never had to do such a thing. She simply could have forced the information out of Sofiya then and there. The risk of Sofiya revealing her information did exist, but Odette could have handled that in a number of ways. Instead, she chose the most inefficient, yet compassionate, route.

Sofiya trusted in that decision of hers, too. Miharu is aware that Sofiya was wise beyond her years. She wouldn't have believed Odette so readily. It would have been normal to assume Odette would break her promise immediately. That was a part of the puzzle that just didn't fit. One that led Miharu to a certain theory. Sofiya understood that Odette was being compassionate. Not by instinct, but because she knew Odette's regret.

Pretty sure I mentioned before that she's the type to act based on emotions, not logic. She'd turn down or accept work based on 'em.

That's quite the interesting theory... Though not quite enough to make a card appear just yet.

It's mostly based on circumstantial evidence. What I'm about to say now is my own conjecture.

Odette's the type to not let others decide how she lives her life. Isn't that right, Federico?

You ain't gonna find many people who refuse to take orders the way she does.

Federico gives a clear answer and a deep nod. Scale rests his chin on his hand. He seems to follow Miharu's implication. When he catches Miharu's gaze, he offers his own thoughts.

She's unmarried and has no children, as far as I know. But assuming a child is linked to her regret, then... it might be a case of her not being able to give birth. Perhaps due to physical complications...

However, no card manifests from his conjecture. Scale remains convinced they are on the right track, regardless.

We're missing something, but I'm pretty confident this is a good lead to follow. All right. I'll have someone dig up Odette's clinical records. Should be fine to stick purely to maternity and gynecological exams.

That settles things, then. I'll be going now, so get in contact when you find something out. As I said before, I'd rather avoid coming here too often.

Wait, wait, wait. I don't mind if we go somewhere else, so how about we keep hanging out? Ain't no problem if you leave in the morning.

Ugh. You're a scumbag, you know that?

Miharu shoots Federico an icy glare before leaving. She has no idea that both of those men wind up drinking till morning.


Cardbook has updated.

II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Name – Yu
IV – Cause of Death – Fire
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
XI – Cause of Death – Death from Blood Loss
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion

II – Name – Hebinata Miharu
III – Name – Federico Carminati
IV – Name – Yu
IV – Cause of Death – Fire
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
XI – Cause of Death – Death from Blood Loss
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion