The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 94: Trump Card

BGM: Rinka's Room

Two hours after I begin reading, I've made it through another fifth of the diary, I'd guess. While the diary of a girl living through the end of the Meiji period is interesting in its own right, the structure is inherently different from a novel. That makes the process of reading it pretty tiring. I did come across an interesting tidbit, albeit one unrelated to Divine Selection.

They had a black cat as well...

It had a leisurely attitude and seemed to be more attached to Dianna than Linda. It would appear and disappear when it saw fit... By the sounds of it, it could've been Lethe's great-great-grandcat. They called the cat Leo, which is pretty similar to Lethe. One diary entry was about how it once stepped on a piece of broken glass, leaving a scar on the paw of its front right leg.


Speak of the devil. It's Lethe.

Hey, you should watch out for broken glass. You haven't walked on some already, have you?


I try to approach, but Lethe runs off. Must've sensed something annoying was about to happen. I assume it's fine if it can still sprint like that. Following that, I close the diary and head back to my room.

Once in bed, I start to think about what I should do from here on out. Let's put things into perspective. I have three main concerns at the moment. First and most importantly: finding a means for both Miharu and me to survive. I've yet to reach a conclusion, but I'm sure that figuring out the mysteries behind Divine Selection itself is the right approach. I can't say for sure whether or not I've made any progress until I've finished reading Linda's diary.

The second concern is gathering information on Alan. This is a difficult one as well, especially when I don't understand his goal. I know for a fact that he holds no hostility toward me, but I hardly think he's willing to let me eliminate him just because of that. That's why I need to discuss things with him. I have no way to contact him, but something tells me that he'll come to see me soon.

My third and final concern is Federico. I know both his name and cause of death, but have nothing to go on for his regret. I've never talked to him in person, so that makes things even more difficult.



Just then, I receive a text message. It's from Miharu. “I've gathered all of Federico's information. My shift starts later tomorrow, so do you mind if I come to Lion House after school?” The message itself is short, but I can't help but be amazed at her perfect timing. I text back “that works for me”. I figure I can use that time to talk to her about the diary, as well.

I haven't hit a dead end quite yet. Forcing myself to believe that, I set my mind on getting some sleep.


BGM: At Amecha Girls' University High School

07/04 (WED), Evening
Miharu and I head to Lion House once classes have ended.

Is Naomi not here today?

She had something else she needed to do, so I'll fill her in on anything important tomorrow.

It's pretty rare for Miharu to ask about Naomi. Divine Selection requires us to fight our own fate, so maybe that's changed her perspective on Naomi at some point. There wasn't much to what she said, but I could tell there was a slight difference in her attitude toward her.

Anyway, it's just the two of us. Mao's probably told her that I'm waiting a bit longer before giving my answer, but even then, it still feels a bit awkward to be alone with her.


BGM: Lion House Cafe

Thirty minutes after we arrive at Lion House, Miharu leaves for work. We didn't discuss much, but she told me how she met with Federico Monday night and how she was able to deduce his regret from what they talked about. It didn't happen right away, but everything fell into place on Tuesday night, which led to her being able to materialize the card. I didn't ask about the card's contents, but I asked her to fill me in later, on the off chance that he's gathering information on me as well. He seems to have no intention of electing me according to her, but it can't hurt to be safe.

I made sure to show Miharu the diary, too. Its existence took her by surprise just as much as it did for me. I told her that I'd pass any worthwhile information over to her once I'm done reading it. Just before she left, she offered her thoughts on it.

That diary may just be the trump card we've been searching for.

There is no basis to her claim, but I happen to agree. After she left, I opened the store up for business.


BGM: At Amecha Girls' University High School

07/05 (THU), Morning
Morning, Mao.

Mornin'! Blech. Too bad we've got finals looming over us next week...

Let's try and ignore that reality...

Not to brag, but I haven't studied in the slightest ever since midterms. Midterms weren't much of an issue for me since they happened soon after Divine Selection began, but the same can't be said for finals. I actually considered using my card book to cheat my way through the English exam at least, but only total losers cheat. It's a fact that I don't have the time to study, though. That's when I receive a text message. You're not technically allowed to mess with your phone on campus, but I'll break that rule today.

It's from my gran. “I heard that finals are coming up. Forget about the store for now and focus on studying. Make sure to send me your results, too.”

…Is she psychic...?

What's up? Get scolded by your gran?

I don't need you reading my mind as well.

A mere employee can't ignore their boss's orders. It's impossible to keep the store going without keeping in contact with her, too. Running the store serves as a nice change of pace, so now I'm just depressed. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I'll keep reading the diary as usual, but I guess I can avoid failing if I use the time I normally would on the store for studying. In the worst-case scenario I'll ignore English and use my card bo- No. Bad Rinka.

Regular life sure can be difficult.


BGM: Lion House Cafe

07/05 (THU), Evening
Once school has ended for the day, I return home to study. I put up an announcement about how the store will be officially closed until the week after next. Seems like one of my teachers got in touch with my gran after realizing that I probably wasn't studying this time around. They're aware of my circumstances at home, so I can understand why they'd get in contact. No teacher can ignore a student's poor grades. I'll have to keep on top of studying once Divine Selection is over as well, otherwise I won't be allowed to keep running the store.

Hey, Naomi, mind if we take a break?

O-Of course I mind! It's barely been half an hour since we started!

You sure are strict today...

O-Oh, sorry... It's just, well... I didn't quite realize how bad your studying habits are...

It was fine during entrance exams because I had a goal, but I can't find the same motivation for these regular tests...

That's a bit surprising, actually. Then again, you didn't exactly fair well on those English questions I quizzed you on before.

Naomi's doing some considerable damage to my morale today. Not like I can blame her. Her upperclassman is acting pretty pathetic.

Miharu has to work today, too. Makes me wonder when she finds the time to study, since she's also got Divine Selection to worry about.

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses! Let's just focus on yours for now. I'll let you take a break after an hour.

Okay. Let's do this.

There's no point in avoiding it, so I decide to stick my head into some books. I used to study with Mao a lot during our first year, but we normally ended up just chatting. In that regard, properly studying with someone like this is a pretty novel experience. I don't wanna disappoint Naomi either, so I'll focus for at least this first hour.

I knew you could do it! You've earned a little break now.

An hour and a half later, Naomi finally offers me entrance to the oasis known as a break. It was supposed to happen at the one-hour mark, but I couldn't bring myself to mention it when the time came. Knowing her, she probably didn't want to interrupt me because she thought I was focused. Equally admirable and depressing, considering that wasn't the case at all.

We spend the break talking and snacking. The topic switches to Divine Selection at some point. I tell her about how Miharu has gathered all of Federico's information and about the diary I've found. After mentioning it, I head upstairs to grab it. I place it down right beside my card book. It's almost like a before and after comparison.

BGM: Intel Investigation Underway
Here it is.

W-Wow, a book over a century old...! It really does look the same as your card book, too! And it's entirely handmade! No wonder we couldn't find anything about the design.

U-Umm... Do you mind if I... smell it?


J-Just a quick whiff...! Oh, do I need to put on gloves or something before touching it?

I never bothered to do that. Not even while reading it.

Y-You might want to treat it with a bit more care... Also, um... Do you mind if I read it once you're done?

You sure you want to when I'm gonna talk about the contents after I'm done?

That's fine! Reading something this old is thrilling in and of itself.

Seeing Naomi this excited is pretty surprising. At the same time, I realize that the diary will be in peril if I leave it here. Back up to my room it goes. She couldn't keep her eyes off it as I took it away, too. Guess it puts just how much she loves books into perspective.

S-Sorry, I got a bit carried away...

Back to your normal self, I see. Let's keep studying.

That said, we settle on another hour of hitting the books.


BGM: Rinka's Room

07/05 (THU), Night
We study until around 8 p.m., taking infrequent but always welcome breaks.

I should probably get going now.

Naomi starts packing up to leave. She can't stop herself from smiling after learning just how much Rinka dislikes studying. It has no effect on her impression of Rinka, but seeing this side of her has been a nice surprise. To Naomi, the day was endless fun. What's more, a certain desire has continued to blossom within her as the days have gone by. The desire for things to continue like this. For her memories of these days to remain intact.

Naomi isn't a participant in Divine Selection. That's why retaining her memories carries the same value as Rinka and Miharu's survival. There's no end to the burden caused by these feelings of hers.

Would you like to study tomorrow as well?

I'd love to. Mao and Miharu might join us, too.

Rinka gives her answer with a smile.


And Naomi responds in kind.


BGM: Silence

After exiting Lion House, Naomi spots a nearby man muttering to himself. Shock overcomes her the moment she sees his face.

Closed for several weeks...? This isn't good...

It's Alan Scorpion. Numeral XII in Divine Selection. One of the four remaining participants. Naomi has seen him once before- at the hospital, when dealing with Keiko.


The hospital...?



The name Kamebuchi Keiko causes her mind to flash back to two disparate memories. One involves Naomi collapsing from anemia after paying a visit to the hospital. The other involves going to the hospital with Rinka to approach Keiko and learn more about her. Following this, she was attacked by Alan, who had the same goal in mind. What's more, the things she's heard from Rinka are mixed into both memories.

The confusion causes Naomi to collapse to her knees. She can feel her mind failing to parse which memory is real and which is fake.