The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 73: Just a Little

content warning: reference to child abuse, implication of sexual assault

BGM: Rinka's Room

06/21 (THU), Morning
I spent the rest of yesterday reading through what I'd grabbed from the library after closing up shop for the day. This time around, we focused on material with information about old book designs, but nothing of note stood out. There wasn't anything too reminiscent of the design on our card books.

I'm just getting started, though...

I never expected to find something right off the bat. With that in mind, I head over to the bathroom to wash my face.


BGM: Silence

06/22 (FRI), Night
Scale finally rounds us up two days after Odette came by to chat. Miharu's with us too, but she's cold as ever.

That's the gist of it. This should do well to back up our thoughts regarding Odette's regret.

Scale closes his explanation with a heavy tone.

BGM: He Reveals me the Answer

He told us about Odette's past. Born on a family farm, her mother passed away not too long after her birth. No one knows for sure whether or not the despair of losing his wife drove her father insane. Regardless, it's a fact that Odette suffered abuse by his hand. The abuse she received not long after hitting puberty resulted in a particularly drastic consequence.

Her body became unable to sustain a child.

That reality must have crushed Odette. She left her father at the brink of death through the use of the tools on their farm before moving abroad. She made it a point to live by a port in order to erase her memories of farm life. There, she met a man in charge of a shipping company, which led to her spending most of her days at sea. The man took quite an interest in her, similar to how she considered him akin to a parent.

Her hearty personality and knack for the job quickly led to her being regarded as a fine member of his crew. None on the ship were aware that Odette's recklessness was spurred on by a lack of attachment to her own life, though. Odette's regret only grew as she aged, so she made an effort to work hard and enjoy the present as much as possible.

Granted, all of that is just prerequisite information in regards to learning her actual regret.

Looks like her father's still alive. She even managed to speak to him directly, it seems. Of course, the trauma from his own daughter's attack on him took its toll. Apparently he's in a mental hospital now.

Miharu kept her head down the entire time Scale was talking. It must hit close to home, considering they're both women.

Giving birth, huh? Yup, there's the card. We got it.

It's a rather worthless regret for someone who mouths off as much as her...

Scale mutters something to himself, but I can't quite catch it. More importantly, I've finally got hold of all her cards. Just looking at this new one has me giddy. I've done it! At last!

I've finally got all her cards...!

I try my best not to grin like an idiot. I don't give a damn about her past. That's not enough to change my view of her. I don't have a future to speak of if I can't surpass her.

All that's left now is...

I can finally stand toe to toe with her. All that's left is to elect her. She might elect me back, but I can't let that possibility stop me.

That friend of yours is quite something if they could gather that much information in just a few days.

Haha, thank you. A shame I can't tell you too much about my source, though. We'd be getting a bit too deep into my own identity.

Miharu responds with a quiet nod. She looks pretty exhausted, now that I take a proper look. Talk about putting a pretty face to waste. That said, she's right. I dunno who this friend of Scale's is, but they gather intel like a beast. That leads me to a thought... If this guy's got so many connections, then that means plenty of people know him. These two keep acting all calm and collected, but that ain't gonna last long.

Once I surpass Odette, they're next...!


BGM: Town

06/23 (SAT), Noon
Saturday rolls around without anything resembling progress for us. I do what I can to reach the truth about Divine Selection, but there's far too much information out there regarding design concepts and such. Doesn't help that I'm not too familiar with history in the first place.

Part of me is ready to give up. I tried taking a picture of my card book and doing a reverse image search, but nothing worthwhile popped up. I'm honestly starting to feel like I'm at my limit, but I can't just throw in the towel. If I can't think of any other methods, then I should stick to this way for now.

You been getting enough sleep, Rinny?

I got some during the first two periods.

...Now you're starting to sound like me.

Keeping the store open has inevitably led to me losing sleep.

Oh, maybe one of the regulars knows...

My thoughts become words before I even realize it. The regulars at Lion House have all manner of jobs. Plenty of elderly people too, so one of them might know something. I know I don't have the luxury to stop now, which helps keep my priorities in check.

She's done for...

Mao's exasperated voice helps me in much the same way.

U-Umm... Is Miharu here?

Yo, Naorin!

Miharu took today off...

Miharu's absences have been growing more and more frequent. She can't afford to miss too many days due to her scholarship, but I'm sure she's aware of that without me having to point it out.


It's about time for us to head home. Wanna hit up Lion House, Naorin? Been a while since we last did that.

I'm surprised you're the one inviting her. Not that I mind.

Wh-While I appreciate the invite, I'm a bit busy today, you see...

Aight, got it. Guess I'll head over myself.

Naomi offers an apologetic bow before leaving the classroom. Mao's coming to Lion House though, so this'll be the first time in a while that we both leave school at the same time. As for Naomi, she seems somewhat different today. Especially considering how nervous she tends to be whenever she visits our classroom.


BGM: Welcome Back, my Master E

06/23 (SAT), Evening
News of Miharu's absence is worrying Naomi. That is what prompts her to come here on her own.

She has to be at work...

Naomi heard about how much Miharu worked from Rinka. That led her to assume that Miharu would have regular shifts scheduled, even in their situation.

Welcome ho- I mean, leave.

Coincidentally enough, Naomi comes across Miharu the moment she enters.

I... have something I need to talk to you about.

I'll be done in half an hour, so would you mind taking a seat? I can't guarantee you'll feel comfortable, though.

Okay, I will. Thank you.

Naomi takes a seat on her own. The male clientele direct their gaze toward her. Naomi fails to pick up on the jealousy felt by the others as they do so.

Roughly half an hour later, Miharu returns in her school uniform and plops down in front of Naomi. Time has flown by for Naomi because she's had her face buried in a book the whole time. Miharu isn't comfortable discussing things with Naomi at her workplace as opposed to somewhere like Lion House, but she also knows she has no real alternative. Naomi braves a few quick glances at the other customers, confirming that neither Scale nor Federico are present.

Is it safe to assume that you haven't been able to materialize Scale's regret yet?

Naomi gets straight to the point. It's plain to see how exhausted Miharu looks. The bags under her eyes and absentminded gaze are enough to tell her that Miharu has been sacrificing sleep for the sake of research.

You're right. I've been searching sports-related things in relation to a gold medal, but nothing worthwhile's come up. I'm going to get eliminated next at this rate. If that happens, it's entirely possible that Scale will get a hold of Rinka's card.

Shouldn't you ask Rinka about this? She may be able to help you, considering she formed an alliance with Odette and Alan before.

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

Naomi has made sure not to tell Rinka about any of this until today. She understands that Miharu doesn't want Rinka worrying about her. There's a limit to how far one can drag it out, though. Naomi knows having that attitude is how one can lose what's precious to them. In her own case, it was her life that she lost, so she knows this better than anyone.

Rinka should be able to do something. She was able to save even my life, after all...

I can't. Not just because I don't want her to worry, but because that could also lead to the other participants getting their hands on her information.

Miharu's immediate answer pains Naomi. She casts her head down, shaking it multiple times. She doesn't want her feelings to pour out all at once. She wants to explain things bit by bit. That's why she takes her time before looking back up at Miharu.

That's... unimportant now. Rinka won't care about the risks. She'll do anything she can to help you. I don't want to see her throw herself into danger, either. But she's the type of person who's willing to do whatever it takes for what's important to her, regardless.

Seeing her work so hard hurts me, too. It makes me wish I could help out more, myself. Watching her suffer over losing you scares me even more... I wouldn't be able to handle it.

Naomi's words take Miharu aback. They remind her of Rinka's despair over losing Naomi. Miharu opted to work with Scale to eliminate Yu precisely because she couldn't handle seeing Rinka like that. However, Rinka put herself in significant danger to eliminate Yu. That's why Miharu is resolute in not wanting to allow that to happen again.

But that's not all... The relief she felt over Rinka's joy that Naomi was alive was undeniable. The foundation of Rinka's happiness had become clear to her.

Even so, if asked to balance my own life against hers...

Now Miharu's gaze is the one cast downward. It isn't often for Naomi to see Miharu speak without confidence. That's why she puts every ounce of kindness she has into her next words.

Most importantly, I don't want things to continue like this. If you're eliminated, then all our time together will be undone as well... If that happens, then... then...

She stops to take a deep breath before continuing.

I'll cry so much that I'll shrivel up and die.

...Well, that'd be a shame.

Miharu notices that Naomi's attitude toward her has changed. Not to mention the fact that Naomi herself hasn't noticed. Miharu smiles and then nods her head.

You might be the one who's changed the most out of us all. Let's go to Lion House later, then. Heh... Your tears don't have much effect on me, but upsetting Rinka certainly isn't something I want to do.

Thank you...

Naomi offers her thanks to Miharu with a look of relief on her face. She finishes her previously ordered cafe au lait before brushing the tears from her eyes.

BGM: Silence

06/23 (SAT), Night
They make their way to Lion House together after that.

No one's here...

The lights are off, too.

It's a bit early for her to have closed for the day...

This feels suspicious to Naomi, who had overheard Rinka and Mao's conversation earlier in the day. Part of her begins to worry that something's happened.


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
XI – Regret – Birth
XII – Name – Alan Scorpion

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