The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 72: Inner Sleeve

content warning: suicidal ideation, references to self-harm

BGM: Silence

06/20 (WED), Evening
The day after, once school has ended, Miharu calls Naomi to the rooftop. They face one another under a cloudy sky, from which it seems rain will pour any minute. Not only is it rare for Miharu to call on Naomi, but Naomi also has nothing but bad memories of speaking to Miharu alone.

Umm... Did you need something from me?

Naomi poses her question to Miharu, who remains silent.

I remember what I said to you before we all went to the theme park, outside of Lion House. That's why I can't blame you for actively avoiding me.

I-I wasn't trying to... …No, that's not true... I was avoiding you...

BGM: Wi H g L n (Dark Side of Hers)

The event Miharu refers to took place on May 5th, the day following the juncture of causality. The day all twelve participants' deaths were undone. Miharu had made her way to Lion House in order to see Rinka. Doing so would allow her to reaffirm that she's truly alive, while also giving her the opportunity to remind Rinka about going to the theme park. Miharu had prepared herself to delve into the details of Divine Selection once they had gone.

Not long after leaving Lion House, she came across Naomi.

Oh, hello.

Naomi spoke to Miharu without thinking twice. Miharu, on the other hand, remained silent after turning to face her.


Tell me. Do you like Rinka?

H-Huh? Well, I... um, I really look up to her and think she's a great upperclassman, but...

Is that all? If so, then please stop trying to steal her away from me.

S-Steal her away...?

I love Rinka. Not as a friend, but as a woman.

Miharu promptly took her leave following that exchange. Naomi would end up making her way into Lion House afterwards, full of nothing but frustration.

BGM: Two Crossing Paths -S/I V/S-

I understand why you acted like that now, though. You had already become a participant in Divine Selection, hadn't you? I can't get upset knowing that.

My feelings aren't shallow enough that you could understand them.

Miharu puts a wall between herself and Naomi as the latter attempts to get closer. She quickly realizes it too, covering her mouth with her hands as a sign of remorse.

It's no secret that I don't like you. Your personality aside, you kept taking time I could spend with Rinka from me.


Miharu's words are as blunt as they come. Naomi can only direct her gaze toward the floor. Not simply by virtue of Miharu being her senior. This is the first time anyone has outright stated their disdain for her.

It was just me, Rinka, and Mao during our first year here. Mao knew I was in love with Rinka too, so she made sure to give us space whenever possible.

Then you appeared. You used your position as Rinka's underclassman and that innocent personality of yours to draw her attention.

That's not true at all...

You knew my feelings for her, but you couldn't care less. In fact, you even used Divine Selection as a means to get even closer to her.

I tried to keep my distance precisely because I knew your feelings... but Rinka kept insisting that I join...

You became someone truly important to her, though. I was left by the wayside.

Naomi finds herself asking why she has to put up with this. Even so, she isn't the type to grow angry and argue back. All she can do is attempt to make Miharu realize she is misunderstanding things.

Is that the reason you called me up here? If so, what do you expect me to do?

The clouds looming overhead cast their shadows down, thicker and darker than before. The humidity in the air is almost crushing.

I don't want you to do anything. Just stay the way you are.

B-But I'd rather do something if my presence is upsetting you...!

The thing about my dislike for you is that it's only outmatched by my dislike for myself. I'm far too jealous and nasty. The more I realize that I take after my awful parents, the more I find myself wishing I was dead.

Miharu speaks coldly, takes off the glove on her left hand, and shows her wrist to Naomi. A number of scars are visible. None seem recent, but the implication is clear.

This should make my cause of death obvious. It was no accident that I died. I chose that path for myself and thus I shouldn't have the right to live.


She then immediately puts her glove back on. All that follows is a self-pitying smile toward Naomi.

I may be a terrible person, but my death would only upset Rinka. I can't allow that.

I'm never too comfortable around you and I doubt that will change... but even so...! I would be sad if you died, too. Just the idea of that happening scares me. I doubt I even need to say how sad Mao would be.

So tell me... who is targeting you?

Naomi's question takes Miharu by surprise. However, it helps to put everything into perspective. It is doubtless that Naomi has spent every passing moment thinking about Divine Selection. All for Rinka's sake. This is precisely why Naomi could zone in on what Miharu wanted to get across with this conversation.

You told me all this because you know Rinka will do everything she can to protect you, didn't you?

It's Numeral IX, Scale Jones. I know both his name and his cause of death.

Miharu gives Naomi a brief rundown of what Odette told her. Naomi listens fervently, showing no concern over the fact that Miharu has just made her dislike for her clear. It is obvious what she wants. Miharu will search on her own as much as possible, but she also wants Naomi's assistance.

Things might work out better than you think. Rinka already has Numeral IX's regret card in her possession.


Really. It says 'gold medal', but a card won't materialize just by hearing that, right?

It's as you say. Don't worry, though. I've met him personally, so knowing that should be enough...

The clouds begin to part and the blue sky brightens the land once more. Miharu's face is lit up by rays of sunlight.

Thank you, Naomi. You're far stronger than most would give you credit for.

That said, Miharu makes her way inside. Naomi's surprise over the turn of events leaves her unable to follow suit for a moment.


BGM: Chilling With Sidekicks

06/20 (WED), Night
Scale still hasn't called us over for today's meeting. I couldn't settle down though, so here I am drinking away at MILK CROWN. Some Japanese whiskey's my choice of drink for today. The name's one simple kanji. I can read it thanks to having my card book on me, but I forgot the name itself thanks to not being too familiar with it. Which reminds me... Haven't touched wine for quite a while. I was always with Odette whenever I had it, so it'd probably bring back memories of her now. And I gotta be honest, I didn't mind drinking and arguing over stuff with her.

Still... I'm the one who betrayed her.

Tch. What kinda dumbass gives themselves a guilt trip about it at this point?

I don't got time for that. I wanna live. What I did was the right choice to make that happen. I already have her cause of death. It's just a matter of time before I get her regret, too. If this ain't things going smoothly, then I dunno what is. All I gotta do is take care of that asshole Alan afterwards. No one can touch me now that I've partnered up with Scale.

So how do you plan to deal with Scale, dumbass? Or did you not think that far ahead?


But Odette is nowhere to be seen. I tut at myself again. I might be drunk, but that's no excuse to let myself hear things. That's something she'd say, though. No doubt. Odette was there when I partnered up with Scale. I figured I'd be able to handle him myself afterwards. Yet here we are and all I have is his name.

He don't got a clue about my cause of death or regret, though.

Chances are Odette knows about the former by now. Would only make sense, considering I know hers. I'm the one who's gonna elect her though, so there's no risk of him obtaining any of my cards.

In fact, Odette might already know his information. That'd be good.

Thinking that, I order another whiskey on the rocks.

Nah, he ain't having that. Lemme order for him instead.

And just who do the hell do you thi- Odette?!

What's it like drinking on your own, punk?

Odette plants herself on the seat beside me before ordering a bottle of some French red wine. I can't help but stare as the deep red liquid cascades into the glass. Its lustrous color almost puts me in a daze. I gotta say, while Italy might have the best food and wine, France is a close second. That fact never changed, not even after backstabbing Odette.

Let's kick this meeting off with some small talk, aight?

Bit hard when I don't got anything to say to you in the first place.

So I say, yet we end up talking about all sorts of stuff while enjoying our wine. We'd been working together for over a month. I've gotten accustomed to chatting away with her. Kinda hard to drop that habit cold turkey.

You had a thing for me, didn't you?

Odette brings an odd topic out of nowhere right around the time we finish our first bottle. Sure sounds like something a kid in school would say. I ain't no kid, though. That won't be enough to throw me off.

Don't flatter yourself. Ain't no freedom with a woman like you.

Really? To me, it seemed like you'd gotten used to being on my leash. Almost like you'd been in a similar relationship before.

Now you're just talking crazy. You and her ain't nothing a-

I cut myself off before glaring at her. The flickering lights in here are starting to piss me off.

You set me up, didn't you...?

See you later. Put the bill on his tab for me.

Odette wastes no time in leaving the bar. I feel my entire body shaking, wine glass still in hand.

She... She did it...

The shock of what just happened sobers me right up. Now I see why she came in the first place.

She's dug up my past, which means she knows about my regret... She came here just to tell me that...!

I slam the money down on the table before throwing the bar door open and running out.

BGM: Impatience

Agh! Dammit!

I can't hold my frustration in after I get back to my hotel. I kick the sofa over and chuck pillows at the bed. I'm just letting all my anger spill out.

This... ain't good at all... Scale better have the info I need, otherwise I'm screwed... I can fend her off so long as I've got all the info I need on-

I catch myself mid-panic.

You know that won't be enough, dammit...

Am I gonna go down without ever besting her? Assuming we end up electing each other, chances are we'll cause a standstill. The cards that we both hold will disappear as a result, meaning we won't be able to carry out any elections in the future.

Then I'll just be living in fear of her!

Now I know what I need to do.

I gotta eliminate her, no matter what...!

It's vital to me. If I can surpass Odette, then I can crush Scale as well. That's the conclusion I reach as I clean up the room that I just trashed.